Category Archives: update

InFoucus Talk with Allegra Messina

By Nathalie Diaz, age 15

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.

(Re)present: Black Women In Front of and Behind the Camera

By Julie Aguirre, age 16

My name is Julianna Aguirre, I’m16 years old, and I currently attend Benjamin Franklin High School. Last Saturday February 25th, I has the honor of moderating and hosting the Las Photos Project panel “(Re)present: Black Women In Front and Behind the Camera.” 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. In hosting the panel, 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 of if I’m a women, specifically 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 how women still manage to outperform the task that they have set their mind to.

Before the panel I was nervous, but then I was able to see that our panelists were nervous 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. By the end of the event I felt empowered. Not only did the experience make me feel proud to be a young women who has also stepped out of her comfort zone but the panelists inspired me 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 just “going with the flow,” but taking a step beyond and creating my own art as a representation of who I am rather than trying to interpret someone’s else vision.

What Happened, Miss Simone? Movie Night

By Andrea Flores, age 14

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Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

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

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Celebrate with us at Viva La Muxer!


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

For event sponsorship opportunities, please contact

OPEN CALL for 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

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InFocus Talk with Koreen Odiney by Andrea Flores

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.

Vote for Las Fotos Project! #LA2050


LA2050 is an initiative driving and tracking progress toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles and they collectively help guide $1,000,000 in grants to build the LA2050 of our dreams. Las Fotos Project submitted a really cool project idea and we need your support: vote for us so we can win the $50,000 needed for our project!

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Now accepting Board applications!


The Las Fotos Project Advisory Board is comprised of professionals and community leaders who provide oversight and support for agency staff and volunteer mentors. They offer the guidance necessary to develop strategic plans, strengthen programming, and build organizational capacity to ensure its sustainability for years to come.

We’re currently accepting applications for those interested in joining the Las Fotos Project Advisory Board. If you are interested in applying, please complete our online application by August 31. Applications will be reviewed in September and applicants will be notified on September 8.

If you have any questions regarding the Board, please email

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Now Hiring: Teaching Artists!


Our core programs are led by a Teaching Artist, a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills, curiosities and sensibilities of an educator, who engages a wide range of people in learning experiences through photography.

Here at Las Fotos Project, Teaching Artists are hired professionals and photographers with experience teaching youth. They have a strong commitment to, and experience in, documentary photography, photojournalism, and/or street photography; familiarity with participant photography and visual storytelling, and they are experts in digital media, including image management.  Continue reading