The Creative Entrepreneurship Opportunities program equips students with knowledge and skills that prepare them for careers in the creative industries, while giving students access to the professional field that has been historically male-dominated. Pairing with businesses and organizations, the program provides an added layer of skill development as students brainstorm ideas and produce content for clients. With nearly the majority of our teaching artists and mentors identifying as women, the support and mentorship they have given our students permeates through the following images and the emerging style and aesthetic from each student. Our Spring 2021 CEO Aptitude and CEO Altitude classes challenged students to think innovatively as they engaged in the planning and logistics of non-traditional photo shoots and reimagine what a professional photography set looks like in 2021.

With another semester of virtual learning, students demonstrated innovation and ingenuity as they used themselves, family, and friends as models and experimented with materials around their homes to produce color and obtain the right lighting. Students in the “Aptitude” class honed in on their skills throughout the semester, seen in the composition of their works, manipulation of lighting, and ability to capture moments spark emotion, inspiration, and relatability. While students in the “Altitude” class paired their technical skills with business sense. Driven by their ever growing artistic visions, their work brings beauty into the everyday routines and sheds light on their continued expressions and reflections of self and community. 

Featuring: 
Andrea Popoca
Angelina Flores
Anna Vasquez
Annie Son
Gabriela Salazar
Haley Santibañez
Jaanai Alvarez
Kayla Jackson
Ketzally Alcala
Kyra Saldana
Meadows Stevens
Mina Alvarado-Goldberg
Nayeli Huerta
Ruth Gutierrez
Valeria Hernandez
Veronica Monjaras
Xitlali Martinez

Teaching Artists:
Kenzie Floyd
Melinda Arrendondo

Mentors:
Abbey Moore
Alejandra de la Fuente
Brittany Bravo
Jackie Castillo
Jessica Campos
Jessica Chanen Smith
Joey Luau
Kat Borchart
Kathleen Arellano
Michelle Terris
Salima Allen
Will Navarro

Andrea Popoca, 15

Andrea Popoca is a 15-year-old student interested in photography and inspired by her tío and others. She started taking pictures with Las Fotos Project and speaks through her work. She believes photography is a way of telling a story through pictures. She was a shy person and photography has made her open up more in a way where she is not as shy. Photography has given her several unique opportunities such as getting to go to New York and meeting new people. She hopes to inspire others with her work as well as having fun.

Angelina Flores, 15

I am Angelina Flores and I am 15 years old. I think of myself as a creative person. My goal in life is to become a great photographer, a hard-working student, and to achieve success. One accomplishment that I’m proud of is having my work displayed twice at an art gallery. This made me feel very proud to know that people enjoy looking at my work. One thing that made me want to participate this semester was getting the chance to learn more about photography and to receive feedback on my work. Something I hope to learn this semester is how to take better portraits of people and how to master lighting. When it comes to my photography experience, I consider myself a hobbyist; meaning some pictures are worthy of being printed and hung, but not all. I hope to become a better photographer so that my work will be featured in a well-known art show one day.

Anna Vasquez, 16

My name is Anna Vasquez. I am a 16-year-old photographer based in Los Angeles. Raised in Baldwin Park, California, I will soon be a senior at Sierra Vista High School. My work is focused on portraiture and self-portraiture and serves as a way to express myself. I started my pursuit of photography 3 years ago by taking pictures of nature and my sister. I have been featured in a few publications such as Brite Light Magazine, “Migrant Mama” mural and Virtual Reality Experience, GRL mag, and more. In the near future, I plan to go to college for photography and art history. Hopefully, I can travel the world for photography. One day, I would like to publish a book about my work; showing how far I’ve come!

Annie Son, 18

Annie Son is an 18-year-old photographer based in Los Angeles, her hometown. Through her camera lens, she captures mundane human experiences and brings to life moments in time that would otherwise fade away, unbeknown. She draws inspiration from social uprisings to minute occurrences — like untied shoelaces, linked arms, or a fallen can of paint resting beside a tree. With her photojournalism, Annie hopes to tell stories that immortalize the history of life forms. Art, she believes, is the best way for humans to connect with one another; she hopes to be the bridge between generations of people to come. In her spare time, Annie enjoys reading books, running, and listening to her family members and friends tell stories. She also spends much time exploring both new and old parts of town — and, of course, she is always ready with a camera.

Gabriela Salazar, 18

Gaby Salazar is an 18-year-old LA-based photographer from El Salvador. She began exploring photography during the pandemic of 2020 to stay grounded but grew to love and appreciate the art for its ability to showcase her storytelling abilities. Whether it’s using photography to raise awareness on issues she deeply cares about or to show parts of her childhood, Salazar draws upon growing up cooking with her parents to capture the beauty and culture of food photography. Always the ambitious and curious learner who draws heavily from her background, Salazar is pursuing a law degree to become an immigration lawyer and would love to explore photography and the culinary arts as side ventures.

Haley Santibañez, 16

Haley Santibanez is a 16-year-old sophomore attending Stern MASS High School in Los Angeles, California. She aspires to become a great photographer and spread her name and images around the world hoping others will be inspired and find comfort in her work. Photography has been an escape for her, especially during the pandemic. It has helped express her emotions as well as capture moments in her life that will be important to remember in the future. Wanting to become a better fashion and portrait photographer, she makes sure to take pictures as much as possible to build her experience. There are many skills and techniques that she wants to learn to further improve her work and be fully confident in her images.

Jaanai Alvarez, 18

Jaanai Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based visual storyteller. She is described by others as a people person and enjoys capturing special moments between loved ones and embracing self-love through her portraits. Jaanai’s love for photography began when she was in middle school after her parents bought her a small camera. Soon after, Jaanai began actively pursuing her journey as a photographer when she had the opportunity to join LFP.

In her work, Jaanai enjoys playing with shadows, capturing color, and finding creative angles with her subjects. Jaanai strives to captivate and highlight the most precious moments creatively and beautifully so that they can be enjoyed by others for years to come.

In her free time, Jaanai enjoys hanging with family and friends and reading a good book. In the fall, she looks forward to pursuing her higher education at UC Berkeley.

Kayla Jackson, 17

Kayla Jackson is a 17-year-old artist based in Los Angeles. As a passionate activist who enjoys telling stories through various visual mediums, Kayla strives to uplift forgotten and misrepresented facets of history to demonstrate their enduring effects on our modern society. Her work aims to continue exploring life in Los Angeles, from the streets to museums and nostalgic locations. Kayla hopes to continue expressing her ideas through art and sign-on clients that believe in her vision and style.

Ketzally Alcala, 15

Ketzally Alcala is a 15-year old photographer from East LA. She is currently in her fifth semester at Las Fotos Project. Las Fotos Project has helped Ketzally expand her creativity and express herself without hesitation. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Ketzally used this time to pursue her creativity and build her portfolio while exploring different avenues of creativity and self-expression. She believes that challenges bring opportunities and fortune, and the challenge of 2020 allowed her to experiment more with techniques, new surroundings, and unique ways to use her camera. Ketzally hopes that when others see her work, they are transported into the moments that she witnesses through her camera lens.

Kyra Saldana, 18

Kyra Saldaña is a multiethnic 18-year-old photographer based in Pomona, CA. Half-Filipina and half-Mexican, her work reflects her interest in intersectional storytelling. As a senior in high school amidst the pandemic, she grounds herself through portrait photography, using her camera as a tool to connect with others and reflect modern society in these uncertain times. She plans to study sociology at UCLA this fall while continuing to explore her passion for photography.

Meadows Stevens, 15

Meadows was born in Las Vegas and moved to El Sereno, Los Angeles, two years ago. While only fifteen, she has found her love for photography and expressing herself through her work. Her interest in photography started as a simple interest in appreciating the world’s beauty. It molded into wanting to learn and capture more amazing things when Las Fotos first lent her a camera. She saw how much further a simple enjoyment could lead to and how much ability and confidence having a camera gives. Her work has ranged from landscape and black and white while now focusing more on portraits. Meadows hopes to pursue a career in photography and gain more experience from others and as time goes on.

Mina Alvarado-Goldberg, 17

Mina is interested in working alongside small businesses such as eco-friendly and sustainable fashion and jewelry brands on creative projects in the future. As a photographer, she is an advocate for social justice and is especially passionate about womxns’ rights and sustainability. Mina works to listen to and amplify the voices of underrepresented communities in the art world, and she hopes to integrate her multicultural identity as a Guatemalan Jew with her photography and creative work in future projects.

Nayeli Huerta, 19

Nayeli Huerta is a 19-year-old photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. She is a high school graduate and became involved with photography during her freshman year. At first, photography was just her method to keep records of family memories, but as she explored making images she soon became fond of portraiture as well as product imagery.

Ruth Gutierrez, 16

Ruth Gutierrez is 16 years old and a 10th grader at Eagle Rock Jr/Sr High School. She has lived in the city of Los Angeles and the neighborhood of Highland Park her entire life. She loves to tell stories with her photographs which primarily center around self-portraiture. She loves to experiment with her photography and art and incorporates her art into her photography occasionally using her props. She loves to paint not only on canvas but whatever object she can get her hands on. Ruth plans to explore her portraiture with Las Fotos and tell more stories that will draw the audience in.

Valeria Hernandez, 17

Valeria Hernandez is a 17-year-old photographer based in Los Angeles. She started practicing photography in 2018, with a strong passion for portraiture that captures and challenges ideas of femininity. She is greatly inspired by the women in her life and her photography focuses heavily on women with the intent of capturing their realistic portrayals. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career where she can use her photography to challenge society’s expectations of who can and should be represented in the media.

Veronica Monjaras, 19

Veronica Monjaras is a 19-year-old photographer based in the Los Angeles area. She was born in Alhambra, on the outskirts of the San Gabriel Valley. Her love of photography began as a child when her mother was gifted a DSLR for Christmas. As Veronica got older, she found that photography was an outlet and therapy for her mind. With each click of the shutter, she attempts to capture the feelings of people through her lens – movement and moments. Veronica is resourceful, dynamic, and makes use of her surroundings to the best of her ability. In the future, she hopes to work with people from all walks of life and help tell their stories. Apart from photography, Veronica also enjoys reading, watercolor, sketching, and studying languages.

Xitlali Martinez, 17

Xitlali Martinez is a 17-year-old LA-based photographer. She is a senior at Whittier High School who recently graduated and hopes to continue pursuing her love for photography as she attends Cal State Fullerton. Her passion for taking photos began when she was 12 years old and was first introduced to it by her uncle. Later she joined Las Fotos Project and has been a committed student for about four years. She is passionate about documenting the lives and living situations of her family and friends. Focusing on skate culture, Xitlali portrays the lives of youth during this difficult time and captures their story. Together with her interest in fashion photography, she creates photographs that define a community from her perspective. She hopes to one day further her experience within these fields.