InFocus Talks with Michael Robinson Chavez

By Sonia, age 17


Meeting Michael Robinson Chavez, a photographer from the Los Angeles Times, was an fun experience. His devotion to his work is incredible because he doesn’t just make a picture of a view or a person, but makes a picture of a moment in time in which people will see.


When you see Michael’s photographs, they kind of take you into the moment in which the photo was made.   When I met Michael, I saw an ordinary person with a passion of creating photographs.


He told us his life was a bit rough, he was in and out of jobs because he hadn’t yet discovered his passion and he had to make a living to paid the bills. Michael showed me that even the strangest thing, like a shadow, or someone sitting at the end of a tunnel could make a great picture.



He taught me that looking threw a window and capturing the reflection would make a good photo, and that a photo would only be better if there is some sort of life in it.



Thanks, Michael, for stopping by and sharing about your photography and your work!




Our First Art Appreciation Field Trip Of The Summer

The day we went to the MOLAA
By Jacky, age 17

On our trip to the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) our chaperones, Eric and Laura from Las Fotos Project, took us to see several different pieces of amazing artwork from various artists.

IMG_6612 We had the privilege of a guided tour with a woman named Veronica who had 13 years of experience at the MOLAA. Veronica gave us very interesting historical information about the artists and their paintings and photographs. IMG_6619   The visit to the MOLAA museum was very interesting because we got to see more in detail the perspective of the artists and their work. Each photo and painting represented the very traditional styles of Latin American culture and the people. IMG_6627 To end our day we were treated to Vietnamese food by Eric and Laura. Most of us had not tried Vietnamese food so many of the younger kids did not know what they wanted to order. Luckily for us Eric was there to save the day! He had lots of experience with Vietnamese food so he helped all of us choose what we wanted. IMG_6651 There was about 9 of us so it took awhile before we all had our food. We all ate our food and talked and made new friends during our lunch. It sort of felt like a big family at a dinner table.  I would say it was a pretty good day. IMG_6654

A special thanks to the awesome and talented Jacky, Las Fotos Project student photographer and writer.  IMG_6646

Summer is here!

LFP_summer2014_mentorship_IG_FIN Are you a teenage girl interested in learning more about photography? Here’s how you can make that happen: Continue reading

ESTA SOY YO Spring 2014 Exhibit

LFP_ESTA-SOY-YO_05162014_postcard_(front) (1)

You’re cordially invited!

This spring semester-end exhibition features photographs taken by Las Fotos Project student photographers documenting their communities of Boyle Heights, MacArthur Park, Koreatown, and Huntington Park.

These talented young ladies have been meeting with their mentors for 12 weeks, developing projects that focus on environment, education, career, self-identity, community, and health.

Come experience their creativity, storytelling, and passion for photography.

Friday, May 16, 2014 / 7PM-10PM
LegacyLA / 1350 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, 90033

In partnership with:
Academic Leadership Community at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
Aspire High School
Bresee Foundation
Girls Today Women Tomorrow Leadership Mentoring Program, Inc. College Track Boyle Heights

 Click here to RSVP

Las Fotos Project goes to Paris Photo

Paris Photo Los Angeles, the US edition of the world’s most celebrated art fair for works created in the photographic medium, took place at Paramount Pictures Studios April 25th-27th, and offered the ideal setting to explore how artists have been and are using photography and moving image in their work in the 20th and 21st centuries, and welcomed more than 16,000 visitors. We took a group of students to explore Paris Photo. Here is what they had to say:

DSTL Arts pays us a visit for a bit of creative writing


By Luis Antonio Pichardo, Founder, Executive Director; DSTL Arts

When Eric of Las Fotos Project proposed that DSTL Arts and Las Fotos Project team up to offer a creative writing workshop for his Las Fotos Project students, I took it as a great opportunity to build the creative community that DSTL Arts aspires to be a part of. DSTL Arts is a nonprofit arts mentorship organization whose mission is to inspire, teach, and hire creative at-risk youth ages 16–21. By offering this creative writing workshop in conjunction with Las Fotos Project, we were making good on our mission of inspiring and teaching creative at-risk youth.

The creative writing workshop was a simple one. It involved taking a static image and thinking of the experience that this image can illicit. By using samples of my own writing, some of it published in poetry journals, we explored the various senses we use to immerse ourselves in an experience. From taste, touch, and sight, to more esoteric senses, such as mood and drama, we analyzed the images created by the Las Fotos Project girls, and the memory those images created in their minds. Lists of sensory details were drafted and used to craft poems that reflected various aspects of their lives, not just the images the young ladies created. Continue reading

Core Values in Action


By Julisa Morales

Using photography as the medium, individuality, optimism, creativity, persistence and learning are the core values of Las Fotos Project (LFP).

_DSC9714Melinda Madrigal is a 12-year old, seventh grader, who chose to join LFP after learning about the experience she would gain, is in her second semester with LFP. She is grateful for the technical aspects of the photography process she has learned, including “how to Photoshop my pictures…and make them into a collage.”

However, one of the major lessons she learned last semester was the social issue that surrounds her community: “Bullying and how it can lead to suicidal thoughts.” For her exhibit, last semester, Melinda researched the triggers, methods and effects of bullying, including suicide and the effects suicide has on pets. “I learned that their pets may also die of depression because their owners committed suicide.” Continue reading

Exploring Urban Planning

lasfotosproject_las fotos project_urbanplanning

By Carol Martinez, age 12 – Boyle Heights, CA

During my Las Fotos Project class on Saturday we had the opportunity to go to Boyle Heights City Hall and take part in an urban planning activity. We were in a conference room that had a big map of Boyle Heights. There were girls and mentors from Las Fotos Project, along with a couple of high school students.  At the center of a table, there was a bubble map and we filled it out with what we thought urban planners did.

Continue reading

Feliz cumpleaños, Señor César Chávez!

Today, we celebrate César Chávez’s passion for social justice and his devotion to improving the lives of working people.  Learn more about this inspirational hero here. Si se puede!


Las Fotos Project on KPCC’s “Take Two”

LFP Founder, Eric, and LFP student photographers, Brenda, Gaby, Rosa, and Kathy, were interviewed on KPCC last week. Read the brief intro below and press play to hear the full interview

Picture This: Las Fotos Project trains girls to document LA through photography : When 18-year-old Brenda Magallanes set out to document her family in East L.A., she began by taking photographs of her young cousin who has Down syndrome. “When the time came to choosing a topic,” she said to Take Two. “I wanted to speak to my community through my work and let them know that being different is okay and it’s something that should be accepted into our community.” Brenda is part of a program called Las Fotos Project that trains and mentors girls to document their lives through photography. The young students have produced some striking images that show their lives through their own eyes. And they’ve taken on some interesting topics. The program’s founder Eric Ibarra joins the show to discuss the program.”

LFP las fotos project KPCC Take Two