As we gather with family for the holidays, my thoughts turn to my parents, particularly my Dad, Enrique Rendon Sr. I used to travel with him regularly on trips to Nuevo Laredo to visit his mother, mi Abuela, Benicia Rendon. We used to take her groceries and other special items she may have needed at the time. On sweltering summer days I would take an afternoon nap on my Abuela’s bed next to a window, cooled off by the incoming breeze. On this particular trip, after delivering Grandma’s supplies and a short visit, I was waiting outside while my Dad said his goodbyes. I always had a camera with me, and at the time I was particularly aware of street photography, always on the look out for scenes that pop up when you least expect them.
My grandmother rented out several small casitas surrounding her house. A little girl lived in one of them with her parents and was playing in the dirt driveway. As she ran around the corner of the house I snapped a picture. For me, children and animals are evocative subjects, there’s always a certain symbolism to their presence.
A picture becomes a photograph when it acquires meaning beyond the moment. I miss the darkroom, watching the developer work its magic as the photograph reveals itself. The minute this image took shape, I knew it was a good photograph. I named it “Grandma’s House” and included it in a portfolio review I attended at the 1994 FotoFest Biennial in Houston. John Clearly owner of John Clearly gallery and a collector was reviewing my portfolio and singled out this image, liking it so much he purchased it. It was my first sale to a serious art collector and the first picture I had sold that was not part of an assignment. Like many business owners who frame their first dollar, I have always had this image in my “La Cultura” portfolio, and it’s a treasured image to this day.