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My mother bought me my first camera in 2014 for my first video production course at the University of Texas at El Paso. I quickly got used to having a camera hanging around my neck at all times and my photographic journey had officially begun.

My photography started off purely as documentary photography, where I’d photograph outings with friends, things in my yard, and the occasional sunrise or sunset.

Shooting mornings and afternoons led to more hiking, more nature photography, and eventually to landscape and night photography, which would become my two favorite genres for the next six years as a form of personal therapy and as an escape from city life. 

My time as a nature and a night photographer also expanded my network of photography friends to every corner of the globe.

What got me into photojournalism in particular was contributing to the former National Geographic Your Shot website, where I was published twice. 

The site influenced me to make the life-changing decision to become a subscriber to National Geographic, which only further fueled my desire to learn and explore the world, but also served as my primary inspiration for what photojournalism and visual storytelling could be.

Not long after, it was truly revealed that my own family had history with National Geographic. Longtime photographer David Alan Harvey had photographed my great-aunt and famous weaver, Eppie Archuleta, for the magazine’s January 1991 issue.

My position at the El Paso Times is the first of many stops along my lifelong journey full of exploration, learning, and, hopefully, a few future images proudly framed in a yellow border.

This job is a massive first step into the world of photojournalism and there is no better place for me to start my career than right in the community where I was born and raised.

Aaron Martinez, a senior at UTEP working on digital media and multimedia journalism bachelor degrees, was placed earlier this month at the El Paso Times for a 12-week internship through the Buster Haas Minority Internship Program. The program is sponsored by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association.

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