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Every month a few of us and our mentor Kristin have the opportunity to go to LACMA to view photo archives. Each time we go, we view a different theme. On April 28, 2017, we saw photos that all fell under the theme of self-portraits. It was really inspiring and amazing. One of my favorite photos was Mirror Ball by Anne Collier. It’s a photo of a disco ball with fragments of Anne Collier’s reflection looking back at us. It portrayed the message of scatteredness and unbalance. As if something was off and she wasn’t fully in her right mind. It was so interesting to me that she decided to show that side of her.
Taking a self-portrait is all about showing who you are and being vulnerable. Photographer Anne Collier did just that, and to that, I applaud her. I have never seen this photo prior to my visit. In fact, I had never seen any of the photos we looked at. I think that it was really important and valuable for us to have seen all these self-portraits so that we can become inspired. We all just got done creating our own self-portraits and exhibiting them. Seeing these photos gave me different ideas of things I can do for my next projects. Continue reading
During our last trip to the LACMA on March 31st, 2017, my mentor Kristin and fellow mentees Natalia, Metztli and Textli dove deep into fifteen images from the archives that were made by female photographers. All of the images were new to me with the exception of the image by Diane Arbus. I enjoyed looking at them and holding a dialogue on their possible hidden or not so hidden meanings. I learned that female photographers have been challenging the mostly male dominated field since the beginning, which to me is powerful because it proves that photography is for those who want to convey the world that they experience, regardless of class and gender.
My favorite image was Self-Portrait in the Mirror at the Lodge by Nan Goldin. This image was my favorite because it was truthful and I really connected with it on a personal level. For the most part each image made me feel a unique way. Some of the images like Diane Arbus’ Russian Midget Friends in a Living Room on 100th Street, NYC made me feel curiosity, while the image The Hispanic Project by Nikki S. Lee slightly frustrated me as I felt it was culturally appropriating Latino culture without showcasing appreciation.
Other images such as Imogen Cunningham and Twinka, Yosemite and Nude with Hat Shadows sparked the conversation on how nudity in images doesn’t have to showcase a provocative vibe. Women photographers can celebrate the female anatomy and not dehumanize and objectify it, as may be the case with some male photographers.
On Saturday April 15th, portrait photographer, Allegra Messina came to speak to us at Las Fotos Project. Before this InFocus Talk, I had never met or heard about Allegra before.
Because of this, I came to the talk expecting to learn about Allegra’s journey to becoming the great photographer she is today. And I learned just that! Allegra told us about how she started photography and how her passion grew. She started out taking portraits of her friends and family and slowly grew more and more experienced, eventually shooting professionally!
Allegra’s wonderful presentation inspired me to not be so shy about my passion for photography. Maybe, I could put this passion “to use,” like Allegra did, and take pictures for family and friends. This will be starting off small. Allegra taught me that even when you start off small, the end result maybe be bigger and greater than you imagined.
My favorite part of the presentation was finally learning every single part of Lightroom. Allegra showed is us every part, naming and showing what the specific things in Lightroom did to our photo. I learned about Lightroom and all of its features, how Allegra’s photography career started, and that being friendly and having a camera can take you anywhere.
Allegra really did inspire me as a young photographer. She is getting paid to do what she loves, while still going to school. And she is not much older than me!
Upon hearing this presentation, I began thinking of ways that I could become more talkative and friendly because of photography. For example, I could start asking girls from my school, who I never talk to, to take their picture.
I felt inspired and empowered because of this presentation. I am very thankful that Allegra came to talk to us, and I hope she visits again soon.
My name is Julianna Aguirre, I’m16 years old currently attending Benjamin Franklin High school. Last Saturday February 25th I has the honor to moderate/host Las Photos project panel. The panel featured the four amazing photographers Kayla Reefer, Dana Washington, Oriana Koren, and Sophia Nahli Allison who’s work ranges in the topics including representations of people and communities of color, urban aesthetics, gender, sexuality, Afrofuturism, food, travel, music, and entertainment. I had the opportunity to talk to the panelist about their experience as photographers and how their identities have impacted their art. Throughout the panel portion I was extremely overwhelmed with excitement and overall confidence. These amazing women taught me that regardless if I’m a women, a women of color that doesn’t portray a smaller image or representation of myself. Contrary it shows how strong and independent a women can be when all odds seem to be against her, and still manages to finish a step above of the task that they have set their mind to. Before the panel I was nervous, but then I was able to see how nervous our panelist were as well, which helped me a lot because what I realized is that regardless on how successful you are, you will always be nervous before any event. After I felt empowered. Not only did it make me feel prod to be a women, but a young women who has also stepped out of her comfort zone and determine to continue to advocate for changes I want to see for my people and community. This experience has helped change my view not only as a student leader, but as a photographer by expanding my vision and not “Go with the flow” but to take a step beyond and create my own art as a representation of who I’am rather than trying to interpreted someone’s else vision.
By Andrea Flores, age 14
On February 2nd, we watched the film “What Happened, Miss Simone?” which was about Nina Simone and her life as an activist and musician. I liked how the film talked about Simone’s life before, during, and after her musical career. Some of my favorite scenes in the film highlighted Nina Simone’s civil rights activism. I enjoyed these those scenes because it truly show how involved and angry she was at the discrimination experienced by her community. Nina Simone also channelled these emotions into her music career and, as a result, wrote many songs that pointed out the racism felt by black people. Because of this, some of the “censored” music she composed received little radio airplay, negatively affecting her career. Continue reading
*Part of Month of Photography LA (MOPLA)*
Our open house will be an opportunity for guests to preview our new youth gallery and community darkroom. The space, an 1,100 square foot work studio and gallery, will become the new home of Las Fotos Project, a photography mentoring organization for teenage girls, and a space for the girls and their mentors to hangout, work on photo projects, learn, and collaborate.
WHEN: Saturday, February 11, 2016 from 12pm to 6pm
WHERE: Las Fotos Project, 2658 Pasadena Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90031
Viva La Muxer is an all women art and music festival, a celebration of International Women’s Day, and a benefit event for Las Fotos Project. Tickets available at vivalamuxer.com
For event sponsorship opportunities, please contact email@example.com
OPEN CALL FOR WOMEN + GIRL ARTISTS!
Theme: Mother Earth
Submit an artist agreement form to participate in this year’s Viva La Muxer art and music festival. All entries are due by January 31, 2017. Artwork not due until March 5. The event will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Los Angeles. All additional information can be found on the interest form www.bit.ly/VLM2017artistform.
On October 29 Koreen Odiney came to talk about what she does for a living. She is a journalist who interviews strangers. She is involved with the program We’re Not Really Strangers. The activity we did was interview strangers on the community. We met a man who worked at the store, “Garage Lounge & Skate Shop” in Boyle Heights. He talked about his day and how he woke up feeling great. He said that no one knows he’s a feminist and how he believes in equilibrium. We asked him about his day, and what’s one thing people don’t know about him. This activity showed us that a camera is a key to anything, to meet new people and not being afraid to talk to strangers. At first it was nerve wrecking but as soon as we started to talk to people it felt fun. Even though we got rejected we never gave up. Some questions we developed were from “How’s your day, really?” to “What’s your story” and it got deeper to personal questions. From this experience I learned to not be afraid to talk to strangers, and interviewing them may be as interesting than they act or look. Based on what I learned, I plan on using simple questions for interviewing people and ask if I can interview them. The most memorable thing in this activity was being able to talk to strangers and to not being afraid to do it. This InFocus talk was a really fun and great to do, I really wish more girls got the chance to experience it like I did.