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

Continue reading

Food Photography Workshop with Oriana Koren and Guisados

By: Ximena Gaytan, age 13

“Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!” everyone said.  After eating tacos from Guisados, the girls from Las Fotos Project were told that they had an assignment.  This assignment was to photograph the tacos in different moods.  Continue reading

MakerSpace in Summer

By Sabinah Lopez, age 16

We started class with Julian, our makerspace workshop leader. The first activity was a warm-up that was about your own perspectives and perspectives of others. We had to color a sheet of paper and cover all the white parts, which seemed nearly impossible. Julian told us to find at least 5 shapes or images and we then switched to do the same with our partner’s paper. For the second activity, Julian asked us where, what, and who makes us feel happy and supported. The project was to use colors that coordinated with what makes you happy and paint them where you feel them.   Continue reading

Our trip to the LA River

By: Melanie Nava, age 12

My trip to the LA River was a great experience! I learned so much and took pictures of everything I saw.  The LA River is beautiful and fascinating.  My classmates and I had a really great time taking pictures of the river’s plants, animals, and people.  I loved taking close-up shots of the leaves, the water, and all of the nature around me.  I was so eager to get there, that by the time we got there, I had already taken so many photos.  When I walked down to the river, I immediately started taking photos of the rocks and of my classmates. I was also able to see the excitement in their eyes.  The river running through the rocks was so loud and incredible.   Continue reading

Our trip to The Container Yard

By: Celeste Umaña, age 12

The word ‘thrill’ is defined in the dictionary as, “a sudden feeling of excitement or pleasure,” but for me (and maybe any other person who has been a street artist for at least a day) ‘thrill’ is an emotion that consumes almost every part of your body when you’re out being a street artist.  The constant feeling of adrenaline and a little bit of fear or worry is what drives you to work, and to work quick.  Anything can be a canvas, from the tiniest rock to say maybe, a container.  Yes, containers.  The Container Yard is an extraordinary sight with so much color, sound, and life to it.  It’s exactly what it sounds like, a large space with massive containers, but there is so much more to it.   Continue reading

LACMA Sessions by Metztli Garcia

I recently had my last session visiting the LACMA photography archive with my fellow Las Fotos Project classmates Textli, Regina, and Natalia, and mentor Kristin. Throughout my entire experience at LACMA I realized what a great opportunity it was to learn about other photographers and be inspired by them.

Before going to LACMA I never knew much about museums. I always thought they were boring, but after looking at the LACMA archives I have come to love them! Once I learned the stories and reasons behind each picture, it changed my entire mindset. The stories and background of the artists helped me understand and feel part of their photographic experience.

I was inspired Julian Wasser’s photo titled Watts Riots. The photo depicts a police officer pointing his gun at people lying on the ground. Pictures like these are important because they have a purpose and a story. It’s vital to document events that mark important parts of our history.

“Watts Riots,” Julian Wasser

I was also inspired by four photos taken by Max Yavno in the place I come from: East Los Angeles. I felt a real connection with the photographs. These images were not only beautiful, but each evoked a new emotion in me.

After seeing a variety of different photographers and their unique styles, it has helped me decide what style of photography I would like to pursue in the future. I have learned to love portraits and street photography, I feel like those images evoke the greatest emotions in a person. With one picture, a million connections and stories, feelings and interpretations, can be made. And that’s just the beauty of photography.