Lesha Maria Rodriguez
Lesha was born and raised in Salinas, California to a father who was a migrant worker – following the fields of the central coast to Yuma, Arizona. Her rugged spirit comes as a direct result of witnessing her family’s daily struggles. She earned an undergraduate degree in Art History from UC Santa Cruz and followed with a Master in Art (MFA) at UC San Diego – with a focus on the cultures and societies of Oaxaca, México. Her graduate work was heavily influenced by California’s migrant workforce whom, like her father, come primarily from México.
She was given her first camera at 8 years old and would run around in her own little world through a viewfinder, documenting everything in sight – from church with her grandmother to flowers in the back yard. Although her photographs lacked a seasoned eye and training – resulting in mostly multiple exposures on the same frame. Even though, she still very much considered those photographs works of art. In her mind, she was certainly already a ‘real photographer.’ As a young adult, her passion for photography flourished. Organically, her educational direction drove her towards the fine arts – earning a graduate degree and becoming a photography teacher in the same junior college where she started her formal training in photography.
Her greatest passion is sharing and learning about photography. In her free time, she continues to take classes and workshops. So far, she has had the privilege to attend and learn from these amazing photographers: Mary Ellen Mark, Charles Harbutt, Joan Liftin, Matt Black, Rebecca Norris Webb, Alex Webb, Nikos Economopoulos, Ted Orland, Brain Taylor and Maggie Taylor.
Lesha’s current work is focused on refining her techniques through continued experimentation along with proven results in the alternative photography process. When not experimenting and working in alternative photography, she can be found practicing her street photography. She divides her time between Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Oaxaca, México.