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WHAT IS CV-ROOTS
CV-ROOTS is short for Central Valley Roots. It is our goal to feature the locals from the Central Valley that have moved away to persue careers in the entertainment industry. From personal assistants of the rich & famous, fashion designers, makeup artists, musicians, actors , and comedians. We want to connect you to your family here in the Central Valley.

Interviews

Bill MelendezPhotographer
Central Valley Native Raul Vega

by Frankie Leal image by Raul Vega

A warm feeling comes over me when I hear of talented Reedley/Kingsburg people who are working in Hollywood or New York. They provide hope for those of us in similar professions here locally. In my eyes, they’re working with “famous stars” and we’re working with “local stars.”

I was delighted to interview Reedley Native Raul Vega. Raul is a celebrity
photographer based out of Los Angeles. He has photographed such celebrities as Barbara Walters, Harrison Ford, Eva Mendez, Jim Carrey, and Jackie Chan just to name a few. To view some of his work feel free to visit his web site at www.raulvega.com.

TM: Where are you from?
RV: Reedley.

TM: Where do you live?
RV: Los Angeles.

TM: How often do you visit Reedley?
RV: Three maybe four times a year.

TM: How did you get started in photography?
RV: I started taking pictures a little in high school and in college. But in my fourth year in Italy it really became more serious.

TM: How did your photography career begin?
RV: I worked as an assistant for 3 1/2 years before starting on my own.

TM: Did you work as a photographer before locating down south?
RV: No. My interest began in college.

TM: How long have you been doing photography?
RV: Over thirty years.

TM: How would you describe your photographic vision? What kind of look/ atmosphere/feel do you try and create in your photos?
RV: Commercially, over the years, I’ve done a lot of different styles that suit the job. My personal work involves seeing the mundane and making it special. The process is organic so I look for the unexpected.

TM: How did you find success in a market that is so saturated with great photographers? What sets Raul Vega apart from the rest?
RV: Being aggressive.

TM: Have you worked with celebrities?
RV: Yes.

TM: Who was your first celebrity shoot? How did it go?
RV: Either Ricardo Montalban or James Stewart. Shooting went well. Everybody wants to do well so there’s a reciprocity of respect to get great results.

TM: What have been some of your most memorable celebrity collaborations?
RV: There’ve been many. To name a few: Carl Sagan, Sharon Stone, Jim Carrey, Barbara Walters, and Devo.

TM: If not a photographer, what would you have been?
RV: I’m not sure there was a plan B at the time. Now, I’m looking into becoming a teacher eventually.

TM: What movie covers have you photographed?
RV: Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey and Lemony Snicket.

TM: Is there a certain image or project that you’re most proud of?
RV: The Time cover of Carl Sagan and the ads for Alva Skateboards.

TM: Is there anything you would like to say to your hometown?
RV: A great place to grow up! You can do anything you want. Coming from a small town should be a source of strength.

TM: Finally - your dream assignment? What is it?
RV: Still dreaming.

 

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