EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER REMEMBERS his first camera as vividly as his first kiss. But getting a camera wasn't so easy for Joaquin Trujillo, who was born in Los Angeles but moved as an infant with his family to Mexico, where he grew up with 10 brothers and sisters in the small town of Ermita de Guadalupe.
When he was 7 years old, he asked his father, who was living in the United States at the time, if he could bring a camera back to him. Only, as Trujillo recalls, "I had a little bit of a lisp back then, so he thought I said cantimplora instead of camara." As a result, the eager young artist with a head of black curls and heavy black eyeglasses received a canteen. "I didn't get a camera until I attended community college 10 years later," he says.
Now he and his longtime partner, the California-born and -raised Brian Paumier, are rising stars in the world of fine art photography. Their images of stagy full-body portraits and carefully composed landscapes are in private collections, galleries such as Los Angeles Contemporary …