A look back at Las Fotos Project in 2017

2017 was an incredible year for Las Fotos Project. We opened our new gallery space here in Lincoln Heights, complete with a darkroom, 100 ft. of gallery wall space, office desks for staff and volunteers to work, and a classroom area for the students and their mentors. Our organization also collaborated with esteemed art museums like the Museum of Latin American Art and The Autry Museum as well as partnered with out-of-state organizations to expose our students to new experiences such as a weeklong photo retreat in South Dakota. Lastly, we launched Hire Her, a social enterprise program that will instill our students with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to work in digital media careers and/or become innovative and creative entrepreneurs.

This year alone Las Fotos Project dedicated 4836 hours of instruction provided by 49 mentors and teaching artists to 126 girls and young women. Take a look at just some of our accomplishments from 2017.

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Marisabel: Radical Girl using photography as advocacy tool

Who is a radical girl? Las Fotos Project, in conjunction with the Hammer Museum, created a panel and a series of workshops to highlight some of Los Angeles most radical girls. With talented Latinx and Chicana artists like Judy Baca, Genevieve Gaignard, Star Montana and Marisabel Perez we dived into discussion on artistic mediums, their aspirations  and drive to showcase Latino and Chicano heritage in LA. We had the pleasure of talking to one of the panelist and LFP alumni Marisabel Perez. She is currently a freshman at UC Irvine and has been part of Las Fotos Project for the past two and half years. Marisabel shares her first impression of Las Fotos Project as being one of the best programs she has ever been a part of. She truly enjoys being able to use photography as a gateway to photojournalism. Never in a million years she says, would she ever imagine LFP opening so many doors and opportunities, not only for her, but for so many young girls in the community. Continue reading

Cassidy: Exploring her inner-self through photography

This semester Esta Soy Yo explored an iconic woman within the community, La Virgen de Guadalupe. It was an adventure to explore the surrounding cities and coming upon the image of her everywhere. Most of the girls in the program this semester never could phantom the idea of how big of an impact and admiration there is for the Lady of Guadalupe. Today, we meet Cassidy Rodriguez, first timer to Las Fotos Project she was excited to partake in this semester of Esta Soy Yo. Her first impression of LFP is very positive. Continue reading

Documenting Family History with a Southern Flair

Hailing from the southeast Miranda Maynard, new to LA with only a year and a half of residency under her belt, has opened the door to a new interesting chapter for Las Fotos Project. The word kindred has sparked a lot of talks within the group, since it’s very much a regional word that ties her back to her home. She mentions she has also been work on a book for her family for a very long time. The idea of family itself ties back a lot to where she is from. Continue reading

Jasbeth: A fashion photographer in the making!

It is always an exciting time for Las Fotos Project when new and fresh faces enter the first day of the semester. This time around for Photo 101 we have the pleasure of getting to know Jasbeth Perez. Thanks to her mother’s constant LFP support by liking, sharing and following us on all our social media platforms Jasbeth received the opportunity to actually participate this semester. She has lived all over from East Los Angeles to South Central, she brings her perspective on being exposed to all the different cultures and neighborhoods. Seeing all the diversity pushed her to discover photography. Continue reading

Pride, a Solo Show by Nathalie Diaz, age 16

PRIDE tells the stories of youth who identify as LGBTQ+ in inner city neighborhoods like Boyle Heights and South LA. These youth are advocates who are working to bring visibility to the LGBTQ+ community and change the narrative to break down stereotypes and show them for who they are, thriving, positive and influential members of our communities.

Artist Bio:

My name is Nathalie Diaz. I am 16 years old and a junior at Ramona Convent Secondary School. I aspire to become a nurse and a writer. My future career is motivated by many of my favorite things: helping people, living out God’s word to be a service to others, telling stories, and expression through the power of words. This “combined career” also comes from the motivation of both of my parents. My mom and dad support me in many different ways, and have different aspirations for me, but they both remain to be my #1 supporters. I am so grateful for everything they do for me and my brother. They push me to do my best and accomplish everything to my heart’s desires.

Some of my hobbies include spending time with my wonderful friends and family, volunteering, reading, and photography.

There is no doubt, photography is something I will always keep close to my heart, even if I do not pursue a career in that field. Photography has offered me more opportunities than I could have possibly imagined and opened a whole new world of artistic expression. I have learned that a powerful photo delivers as strong of a message as a million words. A lot of my motivation and passion come from my advocacy of gender equality and equal rights for everyone, especially the LGBTQ+ community. I am beyond ecstatic that Las Fotos Project has given me this amazing opportunity, a solo exhibit on a topic I am very passionate about. I will never be able to express how thankful I am, so I’ll just say, Thank you Las Fotos Project!

“I really enjoy Las Fotos Project because it’s not structured with rules and limits. It gives the girls the freedom to express themselves through photography. We are allowed to photograph whatever we want, and what we think is interesting.” – Nathalie Diaz, November 2014.

WE RISE, a Solo Show by Regina Zamarripa, age 16


WE RISE tells the narratives of 12 indigenous people in Los Angeles. These individuals range from middle school to college students, from child to elder. Through community engagement and unapologetic presence they show the world that the Native population continues to rise powerfully.

Artist Bio:

My name is Regina Zamarripa, I am sixteen years old and a junior at Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School. This is my 6th semester with Las Fotos Project. I was born in the city of Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco, although these days I reside in the small community of Boyle Heights here in Los Angeles. I would like to consider myself an emerging artist as I enjoy photography in many forms, my specialty being portraits and documentary styled images. Additionally, I enjoy writing poetry and stories.

My experience with Las Fotos Project has once more been amazing. I’m really grateful that this semester I was able to get to know two amazing women and briefly document them in their work environment. I am extremely grateful to my mentor who was always willing to try new things and engage in very meaningful dialogues that felt relevant and important. I will definitely return for round 7!

“What I like best about Las Fotos Project is being able to meet other girls my age and reunite with some girls I knew from my other school. I also love that I was able to expand my knowledge of photography.” – Regina Zamarripa, November 2014

Diversities: The Art of Living by Natalia Angeles, a Solo Show by age 15

Diversities: The Art of Living showcases visual elements of art and photography that were inspired by the intimate connections Natalia Angeles made with community influencers and artists.  Each individual uses their creativity for personal growth while enriching the lives of people in their unique communities, a talent Natalia admires. Whether it’s a specialty craft or skill, the dedication these individuals practice is what helps build and promote stronger communities, regardless of the challenges they face.   

From illustrators, to barbers, brand designers, DJ’s and chefs, the variety of art forms that exist within Los Angeles are what connect people to the city. Regardless of who they are, how they identify, and where they come from, Natalia believes these people deserve to be recognized for their commitment to living a life full of art and their inspirational abilities.

Artist Bio:

My name is Natalia Angeles, I am 15 years old and I live in Bell Gardens, California. I am a really outgoing person, I am social and I love making new friends. I would consider myself a street photographer because most of the photos I take are mostly on the streets. I like to listen to different kinds of music, as well as discover new music. If I can travel around the world, the place that I would like to visit first would be New York City. One of the reasons why I’d like to go to NYC is because my favorite artists, like Andy Warhol, have have their best work displayed in New York museums. When I grow up, I’d like to be a photojournalist because I would not only get to travel the world, but I would also network with diverse people and go on adventures. I love that different photographers can take a picture of someone or something, but have differing stories or interpretations of what they photographed. Hearing about these different processes gives me hope that this society is still creative and artistic.

I’ve been in Las Fotos Project for three and half years. This semester, I got to really expand my thoughts about who and what I wanted to photograph in relation to the theme. This semester also helped me work more with my camera settings. One thing that I’ve done throughout this semester was go up to people and ask if I can take their photo. While some people would say yes, a lot of people said no which would sometimes scare and discourage me to the point where I stopped taking pictures that whole day. However, this year I was able to politely ask people if they were fine with being photographed and everything turned out great. When I would get rejected, I would just smile, say “thank you,” and carried on to the next person. This semester, I also got really close to the girls and got to have some cool experiences and adventures. I would definitely like to come back next semester to learn more about things I can do with photography.

“My favorite thing to take pictures of are people having fun and enjoying life; I love it. Once I joined Las Fotos Project I knew I was going to learn a lot of new things about photography. I’m very thankful that I found out about Las Fotos Project. The reason why I signed up for Las Fotos Project is to find people that have the same passion as me, which is photography.” – Natalia Angeles, November 2014

Las Fotos Project at #GirlTalk

Las Fotos Project represented by 4th year student photographer Regina Zamarripa and Founder + Executive Director Eric V. Ibarra at #GirlTalk

The Autry Museum: Lectures and Workshops
Sunday, November 5, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

The Autry Museum guests joined the conversation as staff and participants from Global Girl, WriteGirl, and Las Fotos Project discussed the importance of sharing girls’ stories with the world, and learned more about the platforms girls can use to make their voices heard.

Photos by: Salina Canizares

City Rising: Documenting Gentrification and Cultural Displacement in Boyle Heights and South LA

Las Fotos Project Presents: City Rising, Youth Photo Exhibit
August 12 – September 9, 2017
2658 Pasadena Ave, Lincoln Heights, 90031

City Rising presents the work of 14 teenage girls documenting changes in their neighborhoods and the complexities of gentrification in Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles.

Both Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles have experienced an influx of new businesses and newcomers who are not only changing the urban landscape of these historic areas, but also are displacing immigrant and communities of color.

The images on this exhibit explore the similarities and differences between these two neighborhoods and the effect that these changes are having on the community.

A collaboration with KCET in support of KCET City Rising, a documentary exploring gentrification airing this September. Learn more atkcet.org/cityrising

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