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“Ones To Watch” – Get to know the man behind the lens, Christopher Cantoya.

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Today, we celebrate a photographer whose work ethic is one of the fastest rising topics of conversation among elite fashion brands. Christopher Cantoya can be seen at nearly every important fashion event in the city and was this year’s official photographer at the San Antonio Fashion Awards. As 2017 comes to a close, we are so thrilled to offer you a chance to get to know the man behind the lens, whose shyness is indeed prominent, but whose evolving eye makes him an important “Ones To Watch” in 2018.

Christopher Cantoya, San Antonio Photographer

SLTV: When did you begin photography? What is your background with this art form?
CC: I started doing amateur concert photography and fashion show photography after I graduated college. I began professionally about 5 years ago when I purchased my first Sony DSLR mirrorless camera. One of my first paid gigs was for award-winning hairstylist Dominic Alonzo. It was one of my first experiences as a photographer with a whole creative team and several models all at once. I have never had formal lessons or training but have been inspired and influenced by local and international fashion photographers. My favorite local photographer is Freddy Camargo because of how he captures beauty and expression. My favorite international photographer is Mario Testino who makes everyone look fabulous.

Image Sourced from Instagram: @neohombre

SLTV: What do you enjoy photographing the most?
CC: It’s a tie between runway photography and editorial shoots. Runway photography is chaotic and action-packed, and feels like hunting for perfect shots. The energy of the crowd and music is addictive. Editorial shoots are much more precise and planned out. It is more intimate and feels more like cooking a gourmet meal. Both runway and editorial photography require experimentation and patience, but runway is about capturing the story where editorial is more creating a story.

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SLTV: When shooting Fashion, what do you think is the most important aspect to capture?
CC: I think it is all relative to the situation or style of the project. Most of the time, telling a story in a way that the client wants is the ultimate goal. Some photographers only concentrate on the silhouette or shape of the clothes and ignore the model. Some photographers prioritize the beauty or the body of the model above everything else. My favorite work is when the clothes, model and scenery harmoniously mix together in a way that creates an unforgettable undeniable experience.

Images Sourced from Instagram: @neohombre

SLTV: What do you think is the biggest obstacles amateur photographers face early on? How can they improve on this?
CC: I could spend all day on this question, so many challenges and problems that can happen. First, I would say don’t do what everyone else is doing. If you have basic images that look like what’s popular, you will be forgotten and overlooked. Continuous improvement and constant experimentation will help develop a unique style and voice.

Image Sourced from Instagram: @neohombre

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Second, don’t take shortcuts. Buying the newest most expensive camera and using automatic app filters won’t make you the best photographer. I have photographed over 100 fashion shows in Texas and each experience has taught me something new. My favorite photographers do shoots because it feeds their soul not just pays the bills. They shoot as much as they can to develop their style and become better artists. Lastly, make some friends in the industry. I would have given up a long time ago if industry professionals had not believed in me and placed their trust and faith in my talent and abilities.

Images Sourced from Instagram: @neohombre

SLTV: Are you from San Antonio?
CC: Yes, all of my immediate family were born and raised here. I went to college in Nebraska, and lived in Austin for several years, but I currently live in San Antonio.

SLTV: In that case, let’s get serious… Favorite Taco Spot in SA? 😉
CC: Another tough one! Again, it’s a tie between the classic old school puffy tacos at Henry’s and the modern new school fish tacos at Torchy’s.

Love Christopher? So do we! Continue to follow him online and then check out his work at the San Antonio Fashion Awards in the gallery below. Need to contact him for work? Email him at


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