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CM SP16 Online Edition

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C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 165 Elevating Commercial Images into Art 40 Year s of Experience at Batista Moon Photography B Y M I C H A E L C H AT F I E L D F or more than four decades, when compelling images are needed by magazine editors, restaurant owners, advertising agency execu- tives and produce, wine and hospitality industry marketing profes- sionals, the name at the top of many lists is Batista Moon Studio Photography. The husband-and-wife team of Fernando Batista and Barbara Moon has compiled a solid and enviable track record of translat- ing their clients' vision into stunningly crisp, impeccably lit photographs that capture the spirit of whatever product or location they're shooting. Lately, Batista and Moon have broadened their horizons, adding to their commercial work an increasing portfolio of fine art photography and a pas- sion for teaching the photographic skills they've accumulated over the years. Though the two are virtually inseparable now, the odds of them having met at all are mind-bogglingly astronomical. Batista grew up in Brazil. After a stint in Buffalo, New York, his interest in photography led him to Santa Barbara, where he hoped to gain admission to the highly regarded pho- tography program of the Brooks Institute. Unable to afford the Institute's tuition, he supported himself working at a variety of jobs, including as a gardener at the school he hoped to attend. "One day, I met Barbara's sister in Santa Barbara," Batista recalls. "She said, 'I'm going to Monterey to see my mom. Want to come along?' Of course, I did, and subsequently I met Barbara." "He proposed to me on our first date," Moon says with a laugh. They married on May 4, 1975. Moon shared her new husband's passion for photography—having earned a Bachelor's degree in the field—and was mentored by the late master photographer Al Weber. It was only natural that they pool their interests and talents, so they star ted to turn their passion into an avo- cation. The first commissions they accepted were shooting photos of

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