Sports


WPPI Reflections from Sports Photographer Alexis Cuarezma

April 15, 2015

By RF Staff

Alexis Cuarezma is a San Francisco-based photographer who specializes in studio & on-location portraiture, and his work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as HBO. We caught up with Alexis to pick his brain about the origins of his longstanding relationship with WPPI and to find out what's up next for this in-demand shooter.

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IFBB Bikini Professional Athlete Ashley Pfaff / Photo © Alexis Cuarezma

Dennis Tyhacz: How long have you been attending WPPI?
Alexis Cuarezma: 
I first attended WPPI in 2009, after everyone I knew couldn’t stop talking about how great it was. That’s when I decided to check it out myself, after feeling like I was missing out.

DT: What is it about WPPI that keeps you coming back year after year?
AC:
Most definitely it's about the amazing people you get to meet and the friendships you make. I'm still in touch with people I met when I first attended; it's a great atmosphere. One of the biggest benefits, on top of the learning,  is the networking, meeting new people, and building relationships…not only with fellow photographers but also with the companies that make the products we use.

DT: As an Eddie Adams Workshop alum, you clearly value education.  Was there a particular class or instructor at WPPI that resonated with you?
AC: 
Oddly enough, I discovered my favorite portrait photographer, Platon, after seeing his work displayed on the trade show floor at the Hahnemühle booth. I saw his work from about 30 feet away and was completely drawn to it. Had I not attended that year, I would have never discovered him and my career would have probably taken a different route. After being so inspired by [Platon's] work, that's when I decided to focus on portraiture. That's one of the best parts of attending WPPI—you get to see, touch and feel what some of the best photographers, and vendors, are producing.

DT: What projects are you working on next?
AC:
HBO is sending me to L.A. to photograph Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather for their upcoming fight in Vegas in May.  I'm also thrilled to take on a personal shoot I have coming up in San Francicso with a ballet dancer from Brazil. I've photographed a contemporary dancer in New York twice, which was amazing, but I've always wanted to do portraits of a ballet dancer so this will be a dream come true for me. In addition, I'm starting to direct and I have a project coming up to film and photograph Olympic swimmer Conor Dwyer. I'm busy now putting together my crew for that as I also look forward to continuing my portrait series of Olympic swimmers this summer.

For more on Alexis and to see his work, go to AlexisCuarezma.com.

Check out Alexis' Floyd Mayweather portrait on the HBO Boxing instagram here.

Rangefinder Magazine is a FREE monthly photography magazine for WPPI attendees and wedding & portrait photographers.  Click here for your free subscription and connect with Rangefinder on Facebook here!

Lastly, find out what gear Alexis can’t live without, check out “What’s in Your Bag” in Rangefinder’s May issue, and rangefinderonline.com. Read about how he sets up and lights sports shoots here

Rangefinder Magazine is a FREE monthly photography magazine for WPPI attendees and wedding & portrait photographers.  Click here for your free subscription and connect with Rangefinder on Facebook here!