The Stockton Record released an inspiring story on Arturo Vera the fits right into the Stockton Heroes category. His story will move you, we’d love for you to enjoy this fellow Stocktonian and what he has to say.
Arturo Vera, 70, has been a part of the Stockton photography and art scene for more than 20 years and is something of a photographic renaissance man.
Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, he and his family moved to the Bay Area when he was 17. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1968. He first became interested in photography after buying his first camera while on tour. After being honorably discharged from the military, he enrolled in photography classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco in 1973, and it became his passion.
After he graduated in 1977, Vera’s first photo job was in a photo lab for a San Francisco company called Chartermasters shooting commercial photography. Not wanting to limit himself to just one genre of photography, he tried to excel in every aspect of it.
Eventually, he switched to fashion photography for Barbizon Modeling and Acting School. In the late 70s, he became a photographer for the Golden State Warriors. In the early 80s, he opened his own studio and added weddings to his commercial photography business.
He married his wife Ana in 1987 and they became a photography and video team in the wedding side of his business. They moved to Stockton in 2000. For a long time he shot portraits, and now he’s moved on to photographing nature. He particularly likes photographing flowers these days.
Of his own photography, Vera says, “I am simply telling a story the way I see it.”
After moving to Stockton he became associated with the former Tidewater Gallery and its artists. When the gallery shutdown, he became the founder and director of the Art Expressions of San Joaquin artists collaborative now in its 10th year.
In 2009, Vera was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease after a colleague noticed irregularities with his handwriting. A few years ago, he underwent surgery to implant a deep brain stimulator. The procedure helps to control the affliction’s tremors but the disease still affects his balance and speech. He gets around with help of a walker or mobility scooter, and he’s still able to pick up a camera and shoot. He says, “that passion and skill is internalized forever.”
For any young up and coming photographer, Vera says to develop a love and passion for their own art. Simple advice, but it has been a successful strategy for Vera’s long and successful career.