About Me

quickie bio.... born and raised in nyc, child of the late swinging 60’s, catholic school, aviation high school, electrical engineering, discovers photography, turns 18 goes to paris for the summer, parsons school of design, backpacks europe, assists for a while, starts out on his own, loves photography, circumnavigates the globe a few times, japan, brazil, afghanistan, south africa, meets many new people along the way, art, editorial, commercial, advertising, computers, loves b&w film, digital, misses black and white polaroid, still old fashioned sometimes, and has the best job in the world.

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william vázquez: photographer nyc

commercial photography, documentry, fine art, ideas, and the photographic process


Entries in abbott (10)


What's the travel like?

I get many questions about what its like to work on a project like the one I just completed. A project with lots of travel, and many uncertainties. My response is...."It's the best"  Which is an honest answer. Photographers dream about these kind of assignments. I am privileged to work on a project like this with clients that trust me and appreciate my work.  

Now the not so glamorous details. I am going to break this up in a few parts in different posts.

Part 1 Organization and travel

I work by myself on these type projects. I travel with no assistant nor a client. I generally connect with a local person that is connected to whatever I am photographing. Sometimes they handle moving me around, sometimes I arrange for local transport in order to show up someplace like a hospital and they show me around. I spend lots of time moving around either in a plane, bus, car, train, tuk tuk, motorcycle, walking, running any and all kinds of transport. No dog sleds...yet, although I have been on one for a different project a while back. I travel as light as possible although it feels like I am still taking too much, particularly when you have to pack for different seasons.

The shoot schedule is very tight that tends to change every day in some form. In this case the design agency coordinates with the client on the schedule. Its up to me to be there on time and ready to work. Its all on a very big spreadsheet that is not too much fun to look at on an iphone.  I have to be prepared to rearrange travel on the go in order to meet the schedule. Thank God for the internet, travel agents, and the iphone! Also being prepared for the unexpected like crazy long layovers, closed airports, broken airplanes, no one who speaks any language that I understand, bad weather, no food where you are stuck, no place to get cash, showing up in the middle of the night, don't take credit cards, no cars left to rent, no taxis, the list goes on and on.

So where did I get this kind or experience navigating? When I was a photography assistant I worked with a few guys who did serious travel, and picked up a few pointers. Thanks guys!

This a slide show of the many things I saw in my travels. No actual work shots yet. My client gets first crack on publishing them. 

7 weeks in.....ireland, uk, india, china, usa. observations from william vazquez on Vimeo.

People places and things I experienced during my travels working for Abbott on their 2010 corporate citizenship report.




Wanted: Personal Paparazzi

I spend much of my time photographing people working, playing, laughing, vogueing, etc, but I never have any photos of me doing those things. For example in my house there is a wall full of family photos I am in one maybe two of them. Why? because I am usually the one doing the photographing. So in my recent travels I handed a camera to my client........Many thanks Roopal! I really need a personal paparazzi. 

This is a photo of me photographing a mother and daughter in front of a temple near Lonavala, India. The little girl was really personable and pretty in pink. What a beautiful family.

Abbott in India, Truecare customers


So many details, so little time

View 2011 Abbott GCR in a larger map

Indian visa (ready to be picked up), China visa in process, update photo gear (check), get a haircut (check), updating maps on GPS, relax (check, well half check) the list goes on...Starting to plan some travel for a project that is fast approaching, way too fast. The map shows general locations because many things have not been nailed down yet, also there will be different cities and towns in each area as I speed travel around the world. I think this years travel will be back to back in some parts so no stop overs in NYC to do laundry, replace broken gear, download drives, drop off film to develop (yes film, B+W), see my wife and kids, deal with business stuff, or take a break. I will be on the road from the end of January till mid March. So I have to be extra prepared for anything this time around. I will be in places where anything would be impossible to replace.

I have been thinking a lot on trying some new things, and change my approach to keep things fresh. It's really easy to follow a formula, and sometimes things can get stale. We can't let that happen, can we. Trying to stay true to what you do, and evolve is tough.

I can't wait to get started, and experience the unexpected.


Photos that give

Recently in NYC there was a kickoff party for the BSR (business for social responsibility) conference in NYC. It was a very well attended event by many people in the corporate responsibility field. My client Abbott was one of the sponsors of the event. The best part of the event (at least for me) is that photos I took of various Abbott Fund projects in different parts of the world these last few years were being projected, and printed on banners. It served as a great reminder to everyone at the event that there are people in the world that need support, and we need to do what we can to help. It is good to know that my work is used to bring awareness, and perhaps stir action to do good in this world. The different organizations highlighted were, the Afghan Institute of Learning in Afghanistan, Vivir con dia Diabeties in Bolivia, Ankor childrens hospital in Cambodia, and the Gao Diem nutrician program in Vietnam. All very worthy programs which I have seen, and experienced personally. Each name is hotlinked check them out, and donate if you can.

Many thanks to the great people I work with at Abbott Labs, and the Corporate Agenda who really use my photos in the best possible ways.


Blog Biennial: There's no crying in photography!

Siem Reap, Cambodia 2008 © william vazquez2 years ago this month I started this blog. Like any photographer I spent a lot of time torturing myself as to why I should start a blog, and trying to convince myself not to. Ugh! more work in front of a computer! What will it look like? What will I say?  Is my work interesting? Do I have anything to say? Is what I have to say interesting? Will I be able to keep adding content? Will anyone be listening or will it be more screaming into an empty room trying to reach people? Will anyone care? All these things rattled in my brain, which added to the procrastination, and delayed in getting off the ground. So I had to stop crying, plow ahead, and found my voice as well as the look along the way. It has been hard work staying focused, and resisting the temptation to post anything just to keep it current. I am proud of being able to keep up with it. It is definitely a long term project with slow returns, but I feel it has been successful in many ways. So those who are listening.....Many thanks!

I will be trying my best to keep it interesting for you.


2009-2010 travel, well so far for 2010

View 2009-2010 travel in a larger map

From Novemeber 2009 to mid March 2010 I traveled on a project for a corporate citizenship report.  Here are some stats from that trip. I really wanted to keep track of these details this time around, but I lost count somewhere in December so to tell you the truth I think these number are low except for the air miles which are correct.

55,523 air miles, 22 flights. 12 airports, 12 hotel stays, 15 cities, 8 car rentals, 2 train rides, taxis galore, countless road miles, 5 languages (Chinese, Malay, Creole, German, Danish, Portuguese), 3 weather delays, 2 missed flights, 2 visas, every weather imaginable from flooding, crazy thunderstorms, snow storms to 100 plus temps, a near fender bender, 1 getting the car stuck in a snow bank, lots of waiting and lots of rushing, tons of pointing and sign language, many great meals and many not so great meals, mass quantities of cliff bars consumed, 1 worn out suitcase, 1 worn out camera roller case, thousands of frames shot, a lot of great people met. Considering the amount of moving around. No real problems.

When do I get to do that again?

I love my job.

This is an image from a previous project, but is a good example of what a lot of the travel is. Lots and lots of not so great waiting around. it's 1:10am about 90 degrees and humid outside the closed Ho Chi Minh City Airport (something my travel agent neglected to mention) waiting for my connection to HUE at 8am. Just me and the rats. Too bad I couldn't get one in the shot.




10th stop...Rio de Janiero....finally, but only for 6 hours!

So I was able to make it to Rio and shoot at a production plant. I spent a total of 6 hours in Rio. I know its crazy...I had to get back to Sao Paulo the same day to shoot early the next morning. Its a shame Rio really is all that you imagine it to be. I did get to see Ipanema, Copapcabana beach, had a beer, and Cod fish cakes (which are super tasty) on Copacabana beach. Not to mention soak in a bit of sun to get rid of the NY winter grey tone of my skin and it was 100 degrees which felt nice. As usual though I had to rush off to the next location.

Observations: Hot, actually very hot, great looking beaches and people. That's all I got I was there for only 6 hours.

 Coming in for a landing at the airport in Rio you see the green patch in the upper middle thats the runway and yes it ends in the water.

Cool futuristic airport in Rio

Copacabana beach. Sort of reminds me of Coney Island.....a tiny bit if you squint your eyes.

Ground level view of the beach.

Copacabanna beach, from my perch at the restaurant before rushing off to the airport.

This image truly represents how I see things when I am traveling....Some blur with some sharp areas.


6th stop Geneva, Switzerland

I am a little behind on the blog. Lots of moving around these days.

I was in Geneva, Switzerland to photograph Shing Chen who is leading a team of researchers who are looking for cures to neglected diseases such as sleeping sickness.  He is very cool guy, and I had a great time spending a few hours with him. He was most entertaining, and gracious to have given me the time to photograph him. Particularly because the weather outside was not very hospitable.

observations: multi lingual people, super clean (of course), people wait for the light to change, organized, great architecture, great public transportation.



Haiti in crisis

Meet Isabelle who lives somewhere near Cange, Haiti. We met 3 weeks ago when I was in Haiti working on a project. We chatted a little in my very limited French/Creole which she found quite funny, and found her to be a very sweet girl with a sense of humor. I really hope she, and her family are OK.

Lets band together to help her people, and her country. Haiti is a very special place with special people.

I have personally worked with, and seen the results of these two organizations. They are a very dedicated group of people working in great organizations that use your donations to maximum effect. Please donate, and tell your friends, family members, co-workers, everyone!

Partners in Health The PIH Vision: Whatever it takes
At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.

Direct Relief Policy Regarding Donations for Haiti
Because of the intense attention and the outpouring of generosity we have seen in response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti, we believe it is important to note that 100% of every dollar that is designated for the Haiti earthquake will be used only to pay programmatic expenses related to assisting people in Haiti.



Fouth stop.....Casa Grande, Arizona

It's been a while since I have been to this part of the U.S. it is certainly beautiful. Everywhere you look its like a Spaghetti Western movie set. Here is a view of the landscape I saw on my way driving down from Pheonix. I am Photographing a "Project Wet program" in Casa Grande, and a formula production line for a Corporate Citizenship report.