To show the inner beauty of every soul

through photography.

 

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About Me - Sam Figueroa

 

Married to my dear friend and love of my life Sylvia, and father to two little bundles of joy, our boys Joshua and Elias.

 

Let’s start at the beginning: I was Born in Germany (in 1981) to a German mother (from Datteln) and an American (U.S.) father (from New York City), which is why I’m bilingual. I can’t really say where I grew up, since we moved to several places during my childhood (Puerto Rico, and Georgia in the US, Erlangen, Mannheim, Nürnberg, Datteln, and Gießen in Germany). My father (his soul rest in peace) was in the Army, and that's why we moved around so much. Every now and then he would get new orders and be stationed somewhere else, and we—of course—moved along with him. I'm glad we did though, since I learned to make new friends fast and got to see different parts of the world and experience new cultures—even if it was just sometimes different parts of a country. When my parents got divorced around 1994 we moved to Datteln again, then to Olfen after that, where I would eventually meet (my now wife) Sylvia at high school. After school and two years into our relationship, we moved in together in Steinfurt before starting college. Years later we moved to Nordwalde, where we eventually sealed our love with a marriage and decided to start a family. We have since moved into our own home, in Datteln, with a garden for our two kids to play in. 

When I was a kid I sometimes noticed that my dad was quite an enthusiastic photographer and I guess some of that rubbed off on me. Now, after his death, I feel like a flame is being carried on. He was always an artist at heart and always tried to guide us in a creative direction. Which definitely went straight forward with my two younger sisters (twins). Anytime you’d look at them they were creating art of some kind, and eventually went on to make design their careers. I was into art when I was younger, and took chances at my step-father’s SLR(single-lens reflex camera) when I was allowed—hey film was expensive to a young boy still in school—but I kind of lost touch after finishing high school. I guess, taking programming classes in college and developing software kept me busy for a while. About four years later, I got back on the art horse—so to speak. The kicker came in 2005, when I won a digital camera at a Mac trade fair in Cologne. Being able to see the results much faster than with analog pictures, really helped making the learning curve more approachable. I took that camera everywhere with me, and on some days I kind of wish and hadn’t sold it three years later, when I decided to buy my first DSLR(digital single-lens reflex camera). In afterthought, it could though then just be a nostalgic token sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust. Still sometimes I think back about that little point-and-shoot that started me on the photography path again. 

About a year into my DSLR-purchase I started focussing on portraits. My first attempts definitely poked a soft spot and I knew then I had to get serious with the genre. Ever since I've been keen on improving my skills and always love the challenge, experience, and excitement of working with people. Sometimes I will look at a new face, then see a certain expression in my mind, only to then not want to stop creating pictures until I feel I've got that look captured.

One of my favorite settings to capture images of people in, is a wedding. Capturing the excitement of a wedding day and preserving precious memories makes my heart feel warm. Every time I see an old wedding photo it puts my heart in awe—as it should. The photographer was responsible for capturing that moment and didn't have a second chance to do it right. A lot of thought that has to be put into a few split seconds to preserve the moment for eternity. All while knowing this effort will put images in peoples' hands that they will show generations after them, to tell them their story. It is part of what makes the challenge worth doing while keeping it exciting.