Jose Luis Melgar

Jose Luis Melgar photo studio Mill and Main Streets

May 21, 2014
Santa Paula News

Some say it is one of the jewels of Santa Paula, and it’s easy to see why. The handsome building on the northeast corner of Mill and Main Streets is the home of Melgar Photo Studio. The Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce honored studio owner Jose Luis Melgar with a Beautification Project Award this year for his efforts in transforming the classic building into an elegant photo studio.

Some say it is one of the jewels of Santa Paula, and it’s easy to see why. The handsome building on the northeast corner of Mill and Main Streets is the home of Melgar Photo Studio. The Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce honored studio owner Jose Luis Melgar with a Beautification Project Award this year for his efforts in transforming the classic building into an elegant photo studio.

Clients are welcomed into the studio reception area, graced by a likeness of the mysterious Egyptian Queen Nefertiti and the brilliance of King Tutankhamen. Oriental motifs also accent the comfortable room. Vivid photographs fill the walls with images that will be treasured now and by generations to come. The studio specializes in weddings, quinceañeras, anniversaries, graduations, and fine portraits. Photograph albums on display feature weddings and special events in people’s lives. “When I photograph a quinceañera, I tell the story of what happened that day,” Jose Luis Melgar said. 

Melgar Photo Studio moved to the leased building over two years ago. “I’ve been at this particular location for two and a half years,” Jose Luis said. The business was formerly on Davis Street in Santa Paula. “I started doing photography because I love it,” he explained. “It developed into a business. I was already an accomplished photographer, but Padre Arturo Gomez of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church was the first to encourage me to start a business. My idea of a successful business is one accessible to the masses, where everyone can afford to have a photo made. The prices are reasonable.”

“It breaks my heart when high school seniors cannot afford a photo. They are treasured photographs.” He values his own high school senior pictures and is glad he had “that important landmark in my life. A lot of families in Santa Paula could not afford that experience.” He is happy to make that an affordable reality for students and their families. 

Jose Luis has perfected his craft with hard work and dedication. “I believe in education,” he said. “I’m constantly taking courses. I take courses from the best photographers in the US and the world. They come to my studio and we work on different areas. One of the best high school photographers is coming soon to teach.” 

He appreciates the technological advances in the field of photography. “I embrace the technology one hundred percent,” he said. “It allows for more creativity, quick resets and instant preview of pictures. I’m a perfectionist. I try to achieve perfection for my clients, and they appreciate that. One of my strongest qualities is customer service, customer satisfaction. That’s why people respond: I make people look good, and make the location look good, as well.” Jose Luis specializes in elegant backgrounds, and vivid color to create brilliant reflections of light and life.

“It is such a great honor to be part of people’s lives,” he adds. “It is a privilege to catch images that will last forever. That’s why I love my profession so much. So I have my dream job. I love photography.”

His enthusiasm for his profession extends to his family, as well. “My daughter, Marina and my son Agustin help a lot,” he said. “My daughter loves photography. She is good with details. She got her first camera when she was two. She is 14, and my son is 11. They are constantly helping.”

Jose Luis stresses the importance of being in Santa Paula, and encourages everyone to “think Santa Paula” and shop in town. Our tax dollars help locally.” 





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