Staff Profile: School Photographer Paloma Torres Blanc

School Photographer Paloma Torres Blanc is one of the most well-known Lawrenceville staff members on campus. Torres maintains a significant behind-the-scenes presence on campus by photographing community members in every photo shoot, assembling the Veracross directory, and covering school events.

School Photographer Paloma Torres Blanc is one of the most well-known Lawrenceville staff members on campus. Torres maintains a significant behind-the-scenes presence on campus by photographing community members in every photo shoot, assembling the Veracross directory, and covering school events.

As Torres said herself, “I feel like [my position] puts me in contact with absolutely everything—students, faculty [...] and now parents too [...] I think that’s great.”

Still, although Torres’s name is well recognized across campus, most members of the community know little about her personal story.

Before she began working at Lawrenceville in the fall of 1997, Torres lived in Madrid, Spain, where she began her career as an unpaid assistant to a fashion photographer. Having just begun her photography career with no prior experience, Torres found the position not only necessary in her first year in the photography world but also intriguing. When she left her assistant position, she began freelancing with local theater companies, where she found great success.

However, this success did not continue after Torres moved to the United States with her newlywed husband, Spanish Master Joaquin Gonzalez H’12.

“It was tough. I didn’t know a lot of English at that time, and I was coming from Madrid [where] I was working as a photographer, so I thought I would be able to start working right away. But actually, I found out once I was here that it was difficult for me to have the paperwork necessary to legally work,” said Torres. “It was a challenge, especially because of the language, but I come from a big family, and I’m from a small town, so the fact that Lawrenceville is the kind of community that it is helped me survive. Everybody was very nice, and everybody helped me a lot with the language barrier.”

While Torres was initially able to photograph school events as a volunteer, after finally receiving the necessary government issued paperwork, she was hired and became Lawrenceville’s official school photographer.

Although her job on campus allows her to interact directly with the community, the majority of Torres’s work is done behind the scenes.

“I’ve been here for many years, and most of the people, I think, know me very well and [...] know a lot about what I do, but what people probably still cannot figure out is how much work I have to do inside the office and [on] the computer, editing, publishing [and] reviewing,” said Torres.

On why she loves the medium of photography so much, Torres said, “When I [first] started with black and white, the [principles] of the [photography were] so simple. At the same time, it was so amazing.” Torres then commented on how the field of photography has since changed, “Now, we don’t [utilize] prints. Everything is digital now.” Nonetheless, Torres has since found other reasons to love her work.

“[Photography] gives me the opportunity to actually find things that I am not sure I would [have been able] to go to or do,” said Torres. “It gives me the opportunity to, [...] actually be present in many different places and situations, [which] I enjoy [...] Last term, [Director of Sustainability Samuel Kosoff ’88 H’96 P’19] invited me to talk a little bit about portraits in his photography class. I was panicking, but at the same time, I loved that he gave me that opportunity and pushed me to do it.”

On her goals for the future as the School’s photographer, Torres said, “[I want] to be able to keep doing what I’m doing, but at the same time, [I want to] have new challenges so I don’t get bored, because [...] sometimes it feels like I’m photographing the same events over and over again. I would love to keep doing that, but I’d also love to keep having new projects— to keep finding challenges.”