Al Rendon was born to document his culture. As a boy, he took special interest in family snapshots. The first professional camera he used was a 35mm Nikon Nikkormat from the photography department at Central Catholic High School in San Antonio. He walked the streets of his vibrant, beautiful city, learning to spot a great picture.
Al established a relationship with disc jockeys at the local top-40 station, then promoters of the rock concerts traveling through San Antonio in the mid-1970s. His first art series, then, covers those concerts with timeless photographs of Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Cheap Trick and the other stars of post-Sixties rock.
“Those rock concerts gave me an education in photography. First, I had to learn how to work with and persuade people as I convinced promoters, managers and security officers to let me bring my camera in. Then, I had to learn how to catch a pivotal moment in a performance that was only going to happen that night. It was exciting, and a young rock fan’s dream to cover those concerts,” Al says.
Al Rendon is a cultural documentary photographer with a studio in historic Southtown San Antonio. A native San Antonian, Al captures the people and culture that surround him in this graceful, expressive city. His understanding of his hometown merges with more than 30 years of professional photographic experience to fully document any event or cultural expression he is covering.
Al Rendon’s studio is housed in a historic (1892) building in San Antonio’s “SouthTown” arts district. We have renovated the building for mixed-use, and it serves as Al’s commercial studio, exhibition space for his art photography and residence for Al and his wife, Liz, and his brother, Gerard Rendon.
Whether it’s an historic landmark or a famous conjunto band, a charro in the midst of a paso del muerte or a muralist in front of his latest creation, there’s a moment when the light is right, the composition is fully balanced and the photograph captures the essence of life. Al is a master, knowing the moment when he sees it, and crafting the image to perfection.
Al Rendon operated fine art galleries in San Antonio from 1996 – 2013. He has exhibited internationally since 1985 and his photography has been published in several significant books and collections.