Photo By Edgar Ramirez

Photo By Edgar Ramirez




I met Franceska over a year ago. I first started following her on social media before actually meeting her. She’s the type of person whose social media presence is so perfect and precise that you might not even think she’s real. When we did first meet, there was an instant connection. One of the biggest connections we had was our interest in photography. 

My interest in photography was always a hobby and a way to diversify my portfolio. For Franceska, it was more than that, it was all she wanted for herself. 

On one of our first hangouts, we were going to drive around town and shoot some night photography. I had a mirrorless Nikon handheld that I was trying to teach myself to like. She had a Canon t4i that she knew like the back of her hand. We were taking photos of each other and the photos I took of her kept coming out blurry and noisy.  We stopped at a local retail spot where the logo in front of the business was a large neon pink sign. The lighting was perfect but no matter what iso or lens I used, I just couldn’t get the right shot. But hers were almost too perfect. Each photo she took of me I actually liked. It was a rainy and humid night, my hair was frizzy, my face was sweaty and my makeup was falling off. But somehow she captured my joy in the moment. We were having a fun night and she took photos of me laughing and enjoying myself.  I would try and implent an Amercica’s Next Top Model moment but then start cackling at the thought of a Tyra meme.

After that night, I thought that my fascination with her photography was completely biased. She was quickly becoming a great friend and I would gas her up whenever she would post new photo shoots. I started realizing her place in photography. I had worked with tons of photographers who have been working professionally for 10 plus years, and none of them had a genuineness like she did. Her ability to catch emotion and feeling is something you can’t teach. Her passion for photography allowed her to teach herself things most photographers can’t do: take a damn good photo.

I sat down with Franceska to talk about her photography and eat Thai.


Photo By Rachel Gomez

Photo By Rachel Gomez


When was the first time you realized you wanted to get in to photography?

Well, if I really think about, it was probably around fourth grade. I asked my mom to buy me a disposable camera so I could take it to school and take photos of my friends. That was my first time where I really found it to be fun. Then fast forward to eighth or ninth grade, that was when I got my hands on my first 35 mm camera. I learned film before digital and that taught me a lot. I would say a couple years after that I got my first digital camera. If I think back on it, there wasn’t a time that photography wasn’t a part of my life.


What I really like about you and your photography is your ability to understand the fundamentals of photography naturally, you come into a photoshoot very confidently and take photos almost effortlessly. What does your process look like, whats the first thing you do when going into a photoshoot? 

You’re gonna hate this answer but, I really don’t think about it too much. I just kind of do it. Of course I make sure lighting is set up right, I make adjustments, and position things in the right way. But for me, I just kind of know what needs to be done. I look at my subject and then everything falls into place. Also, excitment drives me. When I get one good photo, then I hype myself up and then continue to do better.   


Right now photography isn’t your main job, but you’ve talked about going back to school and pursuing it as your career. A lot of people psyche themselves out of doing a career in the creative field because it’s over-saturated. What do you say to people who put a negative spin on the creative field?

It’s my passion. It’s what I enjoy the most. I’ve never really believed in choosing something just because of money. I didn’t really grow up with a lot of money. Of course, money is great to have, but I’d rather spend my life doing something that I enjoy. I think life is filled with people who are gonna tell me what I’m doing isn’t going to pay the bills, but it makes me happy. It’s one of the few things in my life that I want to continue doing and I don’t want to give up. Why would I give up on something that makes me happy? 


Photos by Franceska

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Monica Valenzuela