Candy Padilla has lived in Turlock since she was a baby, and over the years has established a family and two successful businesses. She does family and event photography through Candy Padilla Photography, and operates a photo booth business, The Photo Lounge. The mother of four is also a staff photographer for the Journal. She believes the fact that she is an only child has helped contribute to her creative side.
Q: How did you first become interested in photography?
A: My interest for photography started in high school. I had one of the best photography teachers, Bob Dennison. After I graduated I worked full time in a one hour portrait studio in the Modesto Mall for several years. It wasn't until I became a stay-at-home mom that I picked up working on my photography skills again. I've been doing it ever since. I think I love the idea of capturing important moments in life and being able to tell a story with the photos I take.
Q: When you're not taking pictures for the Turlock Journal, where do you practice your craft?
A: I own my own photography business and cover various areas, but my main passion is sports photography. I have been covering the Oakland Raiders since the early 2000s. I started from my seat in the stands to being credentialed to cover training camp and finally earning my spot on the field during home games. I cover for Silver n' Black Illustrated. Interesting tidbit, the writer/sports editor I cover for used to work at the Turlock Journal also.
Q: What is your favorite part about hosting photo booths for the community?
A: I added the photo booth business to my photography around 2010, but didn't really start getting busy until 2011. I think the joy of running a photo booth is that it allows people to be free in their photos because nothing is posed or staged. I enjoy the fun and joy people feel when their memories are captured in my booths. It's almost too fun to be a job!
Q: What is your favorite photo you've taken to date?
A: Man, that is a hard one to answer covering so many different areas. I guess the main ones that stand out in my mind were taken at the game I covered after the passing of Al Davis. The Raiders had brought dozens of Raider legends into Oakland to do a special half time in honor of Mr. Davis. Being up close and photographing them not only was an honor, but something I cannot describe with a few words.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Turlock for fun?
A: I enjoy going to the movies and occasionally going to the Udder Place for karaoke.
Q: What is the last book or TV show that captivated you?
A: The TV series “This is Us” really captivated me this past season. I'm a sucker for love stories.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I'm not sure this will be a total surprise for those who know me, but I LOVE hip hop. I was a rapper in high school and after. I wrote practically every day of my high school years. After high school, I performed at various shows and even did a studio recording for a freestyle artist. I also did a show with N2Deep and E40. I no longer perform, but my love of hip hop and lyrics will never die.
Editor’s note: To watch Candy lay down a few verses, check out this video of a Modesto Centre Plaza performance circa 1992: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVBAKdcu0ls