Creative Photography with Ileana Hernandez

Like we said, we’re very lucky to have two wonderful photography classes on offer. Today we’re talking with Ileana Hernandez, who is teaching our class on creative photography.

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Tell us how you grew into an artist. Have you been taking pictures since you were a child?

I started learning about photography in 2008; by that year I had graduated from a bachelor in Electronic Systems and from a Master Degree in Electronic Commerce. I had been working in IT for about 7 years and had a secure 9 to 5 job. My husband and I had already gotten married and we were paying the mortgage of our first house….and then I found photography!

Without expecting it, photography became the watershed of my life. It has changed a lot of things for me. First of all, I have learned a lot about myself and about what I am capable of accomplishing. About two years later, after that first “learn to use your camera in manual mode” workshop, I quit my secure job and started pursuing my passion.

I can’t say this journey has been easy; working as an artist is very different from working as an engineer. Before coming to Boston in 2011 I wasted a lot of time and procrastinated a lot. When we got here, I got the opportunity to attend a Post-Baccalaureate in Photography at MassArt, which gave me the direction I needed to became a working artist.

Sometimes I regret having found photography this late in my life, but then I realize that everything I have lived is what makes me appreciate things the way I do. If things had been different, I would be a very different artist, and I wouldn’t like that.


We’re intrigued by this categorization of photographers as either “hunters” (i.e., capturing images as they find them) or “farmers” (using an image or images more imaginatively, to express a particular idea). Tell us a little bit about the tools and guidance you’ll offer Skillshare students to help them grow into “farmers”!

Being an artist and being a photographer is about expressing yourself. Everybody has a story to tell, and the more personal your work is the more it differentiates from the work of others, and in the case of photography, from the billions of photos out there.

I’ll present the work of artists that work in the “farmer’s” way (constructing images) and we’ll compare their very different practices and the ideas they work with. I’ll also explain my creative process and how I make images from ideas or concepts in which I have an interest. We will see examples and I’ll give participants an introduction to the discovery of their own story to tell.

AnotherAngle-2You’re a native of Mexico and have exhibited your work internationally. Why did you decide to settle in Somerville, and how does the local arts community support you in your work?

We came to Boston in 2011 because my husband was relocated from his job. After graduating from MassArt, I started looking for studio spaces and I found Somerville has a lot of artists’ buildings and communities. I’m a member in the Washington Street Art Center, and I’m glad to be part of it because it is a very supportive environment.

Recently I learned that Somerville has the largest Open Studios in New England and the third-largest one in the country. It is clear to me that if you are an artist you are going to find a great place to work and share your work in Somerville.

Do Skillshare participants need any prior photography experience to take your class?

Not really, they just need to be ready to learn what is out there, to then meditate and express themselves.


You can enjoy more of Ileana’s work on her website, and be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook too.

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