‘Photographic artist’ from Albany transforms photography into fantasy

Created: 06/25/2015 6:38 PM WNYT.com
By: Elaine Houston

WNYT13ElaineHouston from Lana Ortiz on Vimeo.



ALBANY - Her work is turning lots of heads. Her pictures aren’t worth just a thousand words – they tell vivid short stories.


However, be warned – she doesn’t do things the old fashioned way.


Welcome to a photo shoot with Lana Ortiz.


Here, nothing is what you expect -- but then again you have to get inside her head.


“I wake up and say ‘I wish what I see others could see,’” she admitted.


She calls herself a “photographic artist” and what's inside her head is always a grand vision.


“A lot of pure photographers will go take their picture and they're done,” she acknowledged.


However, that's when the real work begins for Ortiz -- after the photo’s taken. With the help of Photoshop the story begins.


“Photoshop gives me the satisfaction I would have if I had become a painter,” she explained.


So feathers explode in a pillow fight, an enchanted forest appears for a little girl to walk through, and a family goes flying without a plane.


If purists cringe when they see the end result, Ortiz beams.


“I could be a plain photographer but it never pans out,” she said.


She loves what she does, and so do her clients.


The Ukraine native only began taking pictures four years ago -- when her husband bought her a camera.


There was no prestigious photography school -- just trial and error.


“Sometimes I used cellphone lights, I borrowed or I used a household flashlight,” she recalled.


Eventually, the artist she aspired to be suddenly came into view.


Today, she's making a name for herself with her conceptional images, maternity, wedding, even her boudoir shots -- they all carry the Ortiz style. 


“Why have ordinary when you can have extraordinary,” she asked.