Stories told through the lens of longtime El Paso photojournalist

He’s been telling stories about El Paso for about 40 years, but he does not use his mouth. He uses his eyes.

We see his pictures in the newspaper or online just about every day. Be it sports or news, El Paso Times photojournalist Ruben Ramirez has seen it all.

"It's that shot that you’re looking for when you're looking through that viewfinder, and you pull that trigger and you're like, it's there!” says Ramirez.

Ramirez never thought he’s be a photographer. After graduating Austin High School and serving six years in the Marine Corps, he decided he wanted to be a cop. But he stumbled into an entry-level job at the old El Paso Herald Post, then decided to become a photographer. Now, 40 years later, he still gets to shoot, but his weapon has no bullets.

"I shot almost 20 Super Bowls,” says Ramirez. “Who in the world would have ever thought I would shoot one."

“I shot the pope four times, three different ones. I remember shooting him in San Antonio. I kind of lowered my camera watching him come in. The feeling, I can't describe it. It's something that will go with me to my grave."

It’s easy to talk about the hundreds of happy stories Ramirez has covered, but there is one story that he wishes he could forget, but can’t.

“There was a fire, and a little boy couldn't get out of the fire. (Ramirez gets emotional). That shoot has always stayed with me.

Ruben prefers to shoot sporting events as opposed to news events but says after all these years, it’s more about the shot than it is the event.

“I can go and shoot a football game at 2 o'clock and another one at 7 o'clock and I will never end up with the same photograph,” says Ramirez. You’ll never see the same photograph twice.” “It’s what keeps me going."

Of the thousands of pictures, he’s photographed over the last four decades, there is one that he is the most proud of.

“This one." He holds a picture of his wife and son.

“This is who I come home to every day and share my stories with. This is what completes me."

The person who shot the family photograph: Ruben Ramirez.

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