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Faces of CNM: Genesis Castillo

Genesis is an up-and-coming photographer who was recently nominated for a prestigious arts scholarship program
Faces of CNM: Genesis Castillo
Genesis Castillo is a CNM student studying Fine Arts with a concentration in Studio Art.

Mar 09, 2021

Genesis Castillo has had an eye for photography since she was 12. That’s when she started using an old iPod with a camera to capture the world around her. She then graduated to a more professional digital camera when she was 15 and hasn’t stopped shooting since.

Nowadays, Genesis is a 22-year-old CNM student studying Fine Arts with a concentration in Studio Art and the owner of a successful photo business. She photographs weddings, family portraits, quinceañeras, and also produces a series of creative artistic portraits that fill her well-curated and well-trafficked Instagram feed

“Photography has always allowed me to be creative,” Genesis says.  

Genesis’ work was recently recognized state-wide when she was nominated to the The SITE Scholar Program, which is run by SITE Santa Fe. The program recognizes college- and graduate-level creative students across the state and provides networking and instructional help in order to facilitate the transition from student to professional artist. 

“The SITE program has been really exciting because I’m always trying to find new opportunities and ways to grow my photography and my business,” she says. 

One of Genesis' creative portraits.
One of Genesis' creative portraits.

Cheryl Dietz, an instructor in the CNM Art Department, says it was great to see Genesis recognized for her work. 

“Genesis is an all-around awesome artist and her passion for photography is reflected by the beauty and intense color she brings to her portraits,” Cheryl says. 

At CNM, Genesis helped found the Photography Club and is currently the president. The club has taken some time off during COVID-19, but hopes to resume holding photo trips around the state for interested students.

Genesis has taken several photo classes but also taught herself. Many of her creative portraits are heavily edited in Photoshop, a program that she learned through trial and error. For equipment, Genesis uses a Canon DSLR and several high-quality lenses with large apertures that help her get the extra-shallow depth-of-field you see in her work. 

Going forward, Genesis says she’s thinking about transferring to UNM to continue her education and also wants to possibly open a photo studio as a base for her business. She’ll keep shooting portraiture for clients but also exploring her own process. 

“I love showing the world how I see things,” she says. 

See more of Genesis’ photos here.

A family portrait by Genesis.
A family portrait by Genesis.