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Behind ‘Bella Luna’ Photo Studio’s mission toward empowering women

Villa+was+inspired+by+bringing+the+community+together.
Iziah Moreno
Villa was inspired by bringing the community together.

A photo lens can capture the beauty of anything that is in sight. At Bella Luna Photo Studio, the creative bounds of beauty, light and creativity are captured with a simple shutter. Bella Luna Photo Studio is located on El Paso St. and is open to all who reserve. The studio creates a way for El Pasoans to be creative with their work and overall appearance.

Judy Villa, a native El Pasoan owns and runs the photo studio and has rooted her creativity within the studio. 

“Bella Luna was inspired by the idea of just bringing artists together in the community,” Villa said. “I found that it was something that we were lacking here in El Paso, especially growing up here as an artist myself and not finding a safe space for that.” 

From various props to different backdrops, Villa creates a space where artists can feel comfortable expressing themselves in their art. Making a difference here in El Paso was the goal for Villa. 

“Truthfully, it was making a difference in the community, and I can honestly see that already, and of course helping me improve on my own skills as a photographer,” Villa said.

With a set goal in mind, Villa wants to also inspire others in the community in whichever art form El Pasoans are creating. 

“Hopefully inspire others to do the same, not just with photography, but also with music, with art, anything related to the art of in the umbrella of art,” Villa said.

With different artists living in El Paso, many can benefit from having a photo studio to showcase themselves. Whether it be art, music or anything performance-wise. The photo studio provides many services. 

“It’s two types of services, and that’s going to be the space rental and that can be for anyone, videographers, photographers or anyone that wants a space to maybe do a music video or take pictures,” Villa said. “That’s $75 an hour plus you get a bonus 30 minutes so you can set up and take down.” 

The studio is also able to be rented out for events musicians or creators want to host for the public. 

“We have a lot of DJs that are currently doing that at the moment, and that’s $120 an hour, if you book 4 hours or more, then it’s $100 an hour,” Villa said.  

Villa also provides her photography services and serves as the in-house photographer. 

“I have my own photography services as the in-house photographer. You can also pay me to do your photography if you want to collaborate,” Villa said. 

When it comes to customers feeling comfortable during a photoshoot or artistic performance, Villa says she has a way to make everyone feel like a star. 

“My favorite thing about taking pictures is being able to show my model or client how beautiful they truly are, how the world actually sees them,” Villa said. A lot of the time we look in the mirror and we think we’re not good enough, so during a photo shoot, I’m hyping them up saying you look amazing, you look great. I show them their pictures as we go along so they can feel more confident.”

As a woman business owner in the male-dominated field of photography and content creation, Villa has started from scratch to create her photo studio. 

“When I first started, and I came back to El Paso, I had to start from scratch, you know all the connections I had made before I left were all gone and I had to start a whole new industry and I realized it’s a male-dominated industry, whether it’s photography, business or even as a sponsor for DJs,” Villa said.

When women clients come into the studio, they feel comfortable being surrounded by women empowerment. 

“What happens is a lot of people that come in here, especially women, they come in here and they always love to thank me and say, “Thank you so much for inspiring me as a woman,” Villa said. “I really look up to you and I think it’s such a beautiful thing to see a strong woman in this industry.”

Bella Luna Photo Studio is a place of creation and comfort that collaborates to help clients create their work. Contact Bella Luna Photo Studio on Instagram @bellalunaep and at square space at https://bellalunaep.square.site/. 

Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the arts & culture editor and may be reached at [email protected] or Instagram @by_avery_escamilla.

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About the Contributors
Avery Escamilla-Wendell
Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Arts & Culture Editor
Iziah Moreno
Iziah Moreno, Contributor/Photographer
Iziah Moreno is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a freshman majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in marketing. After graduation, he hopes to work in the world of photojournalism and media.
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