With a history of 46 years in photography, Conrado Quezada knows how to innovate and nothing stops him
By Karla Valenzuela
A frank man, with a deep voice and a full illuminated look in his eyes like the lens of his camera, and always smiling, Conrado Quezada Escandón has been in photography for 46 years.
“I was 19 years old when, in addition to studying, my mother – who was very strict – expected that all her children helped her with the expenses of the house, she did not like to see us being idle at all”.
One day he took me almost hand in hand to find me a job and we came to the only television station in town since this was 1968. My mother knew the place very well because my two older brothers, Josué and Eduardo , had already worked as announcers in the aforementioned television company” Conrado remembers.
Once at the station offices, Conrado met the General Manager, Luis Herrera Fernández , who – at first asked him if he knew anything about television. He answered a “more or less”, and that moment Herrera got up from his desk and said: “come, follow me, let’s go to the studio”.
At that time a popular program named “Tío Marcelo” was on the air, it was a children’s program where kids of different ages showed their artistic skills. Right there, in the studio, they were accompanied by Guillermo Trumbull, who was then leading the commercials of the company Oro Puro, official sponsor of the children’s program.
That is how Conrado Quezada began on television: lighting, painting sets, learning to use huge cameras little by little and, after two months of working in the studio, they need a laboratory technician and where he begins his life as a laboratory technician in photography, cinema , and development of commercial plates that were used in the cuts of air shows; all this, while continuing to work in the studio as a cameraman.
“There I began to change my life trying to learn everything related to television activity, of course interest in photography,” he says.
Without fear of life
Since then, Conrado Quezada Escandón is dedicated to taking photographs, capturing the best of each moment, stopping the story forever.
“I want to capture the essence; When I capture something, I want the photo to shout out saying ‘See me!’ … I am happy to see the face sometimes of amazement, of sadness, of someone’s joy when he observes my photos ” , he explains.
“Enough time to achieve your goal, it does not matter; Sometimes, you have to risk everything. In the 1997 Caribbean Series, I was already tired of doing the same shots from the field, from the towers, from the ground, throwing the first ball, and so on. At that moment, I sat aside before the opening of the series began, I observed that the cameramen packed their equipment; I go to them and question them and they answer me that they go to the airport and I tell them that if I can go with them and they answer no, that only the videographers would fly with the paratroopers since they would give a show flying precisely at the inauguration.
“I said to myself: ‘well, I’ll try to risk everything’. When I arrived at the airport, I questioned the aviator pilot and he told me that only the videographers would go with the paratroopers”. I said to myself “Trágame tierra” (meaning how embarrassing and disappointing it was)- I said to myself- but moments later the pilot Eliseo Ramírez appeared and exclaimed:’ My friend, a cameraman is missing, he has not arrived, if he does not you get on your way? ‘… and he did not arrive; after that Conrado said proudly “my photos circulated throughout the newspapers of Sonora, Mexico and the Caribbean”.
It suits the times
Conrado Quezada Escandón is a communications professional a real Photo Journalist. He has worked as a cameraman and photographer for XEWH-TV Channel 6, cameraman and camera director at Tele 12 Hermosillo, head of photographers at Editorial Información, illuminator on Channel 13, in Mexico City, and was a photographer for all the advertising agencies in Hermosillo. In addition, he was a film correspondent for Noticieros Televisa, a film cameraman in the State Government, with Samuel Ocaña , freelance photographer in Sonora, director and owner of Quezada Fotografía Profesional in Hermosillo, Editor, producer and manager of Tiempo Inmóvil, libro cien graphic percent of the last 40 years of Hermosillo and much of Sonora and, finally, free photographer in the United States.
He worked and lived for one year in West, Covina, California and currently lives next to his wife Celia and his daughter and Linda in Colorado, since 2007, a beautiful city with approximately one hundred thousand inhabitants named Grand Junction.
Now, he says, the ways of doing photography have changed, even in Sonora.
“In the field of photography, with the new technologies, they have emerged with great impetus (the photographers), there are many very good, very good and now they combine it with video, because of the ease that the new digital photographic equipment gives you. to work with both” he emphasizes.
“As for popular culture, I see that many traditions that were previously recognized as originals of Hermosillo have been mixed; now they compete in other locations as the best in the region; even, there are already people who disdain the traditional “hermosillense” -such as coyotas, carne asada and the famous hot dogs-, saying that they are better in Guaymas, Ciudad Obregón, etc. One who has time out of state notices it almost immediately. Even the Virgen del Cerrito already has competition in Ciudad Obregón” he says .
And that, Quezada Escandón attributes it to the society that is no longer isolated; the smaller communities claim their place and can also be a capital of the state that has not assumed its importance and the obligation to improve, offer better alternatives in every way.
“About art, at the time I left Sonora, the first generations of graduates of Unison’s Bachelor of Arts were beginning to join the professional activity. I would expect there to be more public, people more sensitive to art, more spaces, more independent activity with young people paving the gaps that opened previous generations, but I do not know if this is really happening. What I have been able to see through social networks is that what has not changed much is the artists in search of scholarships or that the government sponsors everything. They look for “support” he says.
Conrado Quezada Escandón is one of the visual artists, graphic journalists, most loved not only in Sonora. His work prevails and is part of the history of Mexico and the world every day. Born in Cananea, Sonora, this man has been able to tell us moments and make them memorable through times and spaces. Without it, it would be practically impossible to reveal the past of the infrastructure of our capital to the new generations. And, happily, he is a human being who continues to risk everyday.
Conrado currently lives next to his wife and daughter in the state of Colorado USA.
Here are some of Conrado’s work. We will showcase with his collection: “Tiempo Inmovil” on sale on Amazon.com in another article.