In the time that I have been photographing my goal has always stayed ultimately the same: finding beauty in places most wouldn't dare to look. I have always had two sides to my artwork: The stylized candid photography and the not-so-safe for work, sex-positive photography. My goal for the majority of my photographic career has been normalizing what may be considered "taboo" and stepping-foot into what is mostly known to be a male dominated world and capturing it with a woman's point of view.
As an artist, I am still growing and learning. My artwork is and will be for ever changing and evolving. In doing so, my goal is to open people's minds to the differences in the world around them, search for beauty in places you'd otherwise overlook entirely and accept what may be considered taboo and embracing those differences.
What makes you proud of being a woman but also a Latina?
As women we endure so much. What makes me so proud is how we let our own injustices and oppression educate us, enlighten us; We grow stronger and wiser due to those obstacles. It's a commonality I think that all us women and latinas share.
And being a part of the Latino culture, it's like we are born with this grand sense of perseverance. Hard work, ambition and dedication run through our veins and allow us to achieve such remarkable things (if we let it)! We find the means to make a living and look for opportunities or potentially create them if there are none available in our favor.
And yet through the oppression and obstacles, Latinos still have the heart and the fire to live in pura fiesta! No matter the occasion, We live with the ideology of Alegria; Even with death, we celebrate life! That alone is such a beautiful thing.
Is there someone you look up to?
I've been blessed to be surrounded by a whole community of strong latinas that I idolize from my upbringing and who continue to affect me in my adulthood. The matriarchs in my family have been prime examples of what I strive to be. These women are compassionate, hard workers and our my educators in womanhood and the roots that derive from nuestras tierras. My mother being the epitome, for me, of determination and resilience.
Latinas who have been the chain links and heart of our family and who have carried their children in their cracked and tired hands never asking for anything in return. Powerful beings who, each one individually, still find the room for growth within themselves on a constant basis and an ever evolving hunger to excel in their own triumphs. Cada una de ellas son mis idolos.
Do you feel Latino culture has had a big impact on who you are?
Yes, definitely! From my taste in music and the arts, to how I view my general surroundings with an open heart and open mind. But I think the thing that the latino culture has embedded in me more than anything is the closeness of family and importance of tradition, especially as a new mom.
Do you have any current projects you are working on and accomplishments that you would like to talk about?
I've recently been thinking of a couple projects I would like to bring to light. One series will be mostly fueled by my very own personal nostalgia, embracing the important moments, and people of my childhood and upbringing that made me who I am today. Most importantly the significant periods in my life stapled by being raised by a single mother, the struggles, life-lessons and beauty that came with it. I plan to take a more storytelling type of approach with this series and hope it will not only give me a sense of peace but also aid as a therapeutic step towards self-reflection and internal growth.
Secondly, I've always been quite vocal towards my views on sexuality and the human body, specifically the female form. As women our bodies have been regularly dictated and censored in more ways than just physical appearance. For decades the female body has been deemed taboo and ironically, too pure to be "tainted", considered not valuable enough to partake in our own exploration nor decision making of the only thing that is born with us without prior ownership. The female body is such a resilient force of nature and we deserve every right to treat and love and nurture it in the way of our choosing.
I want to portray the fierceness of a woman's body, the beauty, the power and fire that ALL women have within us. I want to document the grit and the elegance of our very essences. And while doing so, I hope to hand back that power to you; I want the model to take back control of her temple. I want to help reignite and reawaken the goddess within my future models and allow them to embrace everything that comes along with womanhood.
Do you have any words of advice and encouragement to future generations of all women?
Never forget that you are far more resilient than you think! You carry yourself at your worst and rise up out of the trenches when no one else can; that alone bares the strength and determination that we hold deep inside within our roots.
Love yourself and Love thy sisters; The world around us is constantly trying to pin us women (of all sizes, of all natures, of all races, of all cultures) against one another and create a war that otherwise is non existent and we already endure so much on a daily basis.
And lastly, there is always time and room for self-love, acceptance, and self discovery. There is no specific measure to your own internal growth. Find it, harbor it, and Nurture it!