Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

One city, eight photographers

‘A Day in the Life in San Antonio’
Sarah Lemos

On Sept. 22, San Antonio’s Indy Coffee Club held a photography exhibition taking inspiration from Rick Smolan’s “A Day in the Life of America,” featuring the works of San Antonio natives varying from hobbyist to professional. The project took place from August 20-31, 2023, with each of the eight photographers shooting an entire roll of film that captured a single day in their lives.

Upon entrance, the locally adored shop crafted an incomparably pleasant environment, contrasting with the world just behind their front door. A row of displays extended across the wall, each illuminated by golden lights hanging from wooden posts and fixtures, drawing guests into each photo. 

“I think film is coming back,” photographer Lynn Cano said. Her arrangement features a downtown cityscape, local food and murals. Cano, along with the other seven photographers, is a regular at Indy and was interested in capturing a tangible account of a typical day in her life, believing that physicality adds to importance. The rich colors and hidden familiarities in each of her photos highlight the simple beauties of the city and the appreciation she holds as a resident. Many of the photographs in the exhibition share this same quality of simplicity, from Vito Cantu’s photo of a Culebra Meat Market to Jillian Huskin’s streetview shot. The subjects that each photographer chose to capture are reflective of what San Antonio’s citizens feel makes their city home.

Sarah Lemos

Not only do the photographs celebrate the city of San Antonio, they represent a group with a shared appreciation for reality and disapproval of the superficial. When speaking with photographer Caleb Saenz, he expressed that photography “feels like something tangible in a world that’s losing a lot of, well, tangible things.” His statement acted as a consensus among the crowd, calling attention to the purpose of many of the contributors when creating their displays; that purpose being to further appreciate authenticity and to accept what cannot be altered. 

“On social media, everything feels packaged, filtered, and with these photos, the filter is the film, so there’s this patience woven into it that you just don’t have with your iPhone,” Saenz said. Fittingly, the primary photo in his collection features what is presumably his son in unaltered, candid play.

The sense of community and genuine appreciation among every person in attendance at “A Day in the Life in San Antonio” was instrumental to the creation of such a fitting space for the exhibition. Eight artists in a small coffee shop gathered a bustling and chattering crowd, full of praise for one another. 

“It’s a great community, I don’t think it’s exclusive, it’s inclusive for everybody,,” Abby Gonzales said. She was eager to put forth her personal experience with photography, shown through her vivid photos of a local highway, a tennis court and even the produce aisle in an H-E-B. While speaking with Gonzales, she shared that she bonded with her partner through taking photos, and it became even more apparent how unifying the art can be. The exhibit as a whole could not have been created without this sense of community among a group so unique, all with a shared gratitude for the beautiful city of San Antonio.

Featured photographers included Abby Gonzales, Adolfo Acosta, Amanda Gallegos, Caleb Saenz, Eddie Fernandez, Jillian Huskin, Lynn Cano and Vito Cantu.

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About the Contributor
Genevieve Vega
Genevieve Vega, Staff Writer

Genevieve (she/her) is a second-year Biomedical Engineering student. After graduating, she plans on attending graduate school for Biomedical Engineering. She joined The Paisano in Fall 2022. In her free time she enjoys being with family and friends, doing arts and crafts, reading and watching TV.

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