Oralia C. Baca

b.1926-d.2004 | Supporter + Inspiration

photography enthusiast + Kodak Fun-saver devotee 

In 2010 when I set the wheels in motion to have my own business, I began to brainstorm on names. The one that kept coming back was my Grandma's name....Oralia. A variation of Aurelia, which means "Golden". I felt that this business was a golden opportunity for me, but little did I know at the time where the path would take me.

Oralia, or Grandma Lala was someone very special to me. When I was little, I lived next door to Grandma Lala and my Great-Grandma Carlota just off of Palace Avenue in Downtown Santa Fe. Summers were spent playing under the lilacs and learning to ride my bike on the dirt road (and not crash into the arroyo). Winters were hanging out in Grandma Lala's kitchen learning to cook and singing old songs.

Whenever there was a special occasion, you could bet Grandma Lala would have her camera out taking photos. The first one I recall was her Kodak Instamatic. Later, she started using the disposable cameras, the Kodak Fun-Saver being her go-to. When you would go to her house, there were always envelopes on her tv with our names on them, filled with copies of photos she had taken. She taught me the preciousness of having printed images. I still have some of those treasured envelopes.

Grandma Lala also taught me something else. When she passed away November 27, 2004, I had not experienced a loss so deep before. We began looking for a portrait to use for her obituary, and to my shock, the most recent one is the one on this page. It was taken sometime in the early 1980s. She was a gorgeous woman inside and out, and deserved to have beautiful portraits taken of her through the years. I felt such regret that we didn't have something more recent. This was all we had.

Now, this is my quest. I would like to honor the people who do not believe they look good in pictures by taking the best portrait I can of them. We don't need to lose 10 pounds. We don't need to give in to excuses. We are enough now. - Amanda