The CEO: Techniques class provided Las Fotos Project student entrepreneurs with mentorship to advance their photography skills and professionalize their portfolios for future opportunities within the creative community. Some professional techniques and processes included shooting in manual and post-editing, which stimulated the students to further explore their creative abilities with their cameras.

Through photojournalism, action photography, editorial styles, still life arrangements, or portraiture, the students experiment with light, color, and composition. They document landscapes, nature, people, products, memorabilia, places, or food. Their final portfolios provide a platform for their personalities and experiences to shine through in all their expressions, along with cultural cues, snippets of daily life, and momentary joys. The pictures are testaments to the students’ growing confidence and power as creatives.

The CEO: Techniques class also served as an avenue for students to establish their identities as photographers, polish their capabilities, and narrow down their preferred image-making styles. The medium of photography allows the students to explore how much their technical skills have evolved and is a tool to advocate for their future positions as creative professionals and storytellers in an ever-evolving digital world.

FEATURING

TEACHING ARTIST
Kenzie Floyd

MENTORS
Alexa Montesa
Dyanne Cano
Joyee Luau
Kathleen Arellano
Michelle Terris
Patricia Castaneda

View our CEO Pitches!

Watch the video to hear our students’ fast pitches and learn more about their experiences and creative styles. The CEO Techniques student pitches begin at minute 11:24.


Airin
Valdez,17

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My name is Airin Valdez, and I am 17 years old. I am a senior at Alliance Ted K. Tajima High School. I have lived in Westlake near Downtown Los Angeles my whole life. I am a very determined, passionate, and hardworking person. I always like to strive to do my best in anything I do. I aspire to go to a liberal arts college to further my education and hopefully, become a professional in the political field.

I love capturing different moments with friends, family, and even strangers to capture important moments. Some of my favorite photography styles include portraits, photojournalism, and product photography. Photography is a way I am able to express myself and my ideas that are sometimes hard to put into words. Capturing a photo can help me reveal a powerful story or message I want to communicate with others in a more engaging way. Las Fotos Project has helped me express myself better and expand my creativity. I now see that there are no limits to what I can do, and I want to keep on telling important stories and narratives that are not always at the forefront.

Ketzally
Alcala, 14

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My name is Ketzally. I am a 14-year-old photographer from East LA. I am currently a Freshman at Anahuacalmecac. This is my 4th semester with Las Fotos Project. During my time with them I’ve been able to grow creatively but also as a person, I am now able to express myself without hesitation.

I’ve been challenged a lot during the pandemic— from trying to perfect my portfolio but also just finding the motivation to shoot. It’s been a challenge for sure but I’ve also been able to experiment a lot more with my surroundings. I’ve been able to get more comfortable shooting on manual and with low light settings, which is one of the reasons I enjoy photography so much. Through photography, I am constantly learning new techniques and how to adapt to different environments.

Malinalli
Diaz, 13

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Malinalli M. Diaz is a 13-year-old indigenous girl who grew up and currently lives in El Sereno. She currently attends Anahuacalmecac. Malinalli is constantly inspired by the strong women in her life. Her grandmother and mom are a big inspiration for her. They are both kind, strong, resilient women, who motivate her to work harder and not give up.

When Malinalli grows up, she hopes to be an OB-GYN or open a domestic violence shelter. She views photography as a way to share her reality, and it allows her to capture a moment that she can cherish.

She wants people to see the world through her eyes. To her, photography is a platform to bring awareness to issues.

Meadows
Stevens, 14

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Meadows Stevens was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has recently made the move to live in Los Angeles more than a year ago when situations were getting difficult. Now living with her Aunt and Uncle, she attends Grand Arts as a freshman. She aspires to be a photojournalist in the future, aiming high for a school like Stanford, UCLA, etc.

Her inspiration comes from her sister who has been a role model since the age of nine. Meadows and her sister have never had a solid relationship when her sister moved to Los Angeles during her childhood but later connected when Meadows moved to California as well. They have gotten closer and formed a real connection that Meadows cherishes. With the support of her sister, she has found passion in the art form of photography, drawing, fashion, and much more.

This is Meadows’ first year using an actual camera, which has only sparked her love and creativity even more. Her current niches are B&W, landscape, and portrait photography where she explores a deeper level of her calling and everything possible with a camera.

Mina
Alvarado-Goldberg, 16

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Mina Alvarado-Goldberg is a 16-year-old photographer from Central Los Angeles. She has lived in LA all her life, born and raised in the neighborhood of Echo Park. The culturally diverse and ever-changing community of Los Angeles has shaped Mina’s frame of mind as a multicultural womxn/photographer.

Mina is driven by the intricate stories of the people in her life, and she hopes to use photography to highlight those stories.

She loves to work in both film and digital, observing and documenting all that is going on around her, in both photojournalism and editorial style photography.

This is Mina’s second year with Las Fotos Project and her first year as a member of the Youth Advisory Council.

Nayeli
Huerta, 18

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Nayeli Huerta is 18 years old and has lived in East LA all her life. She is a high school graduate and became involved in photography during her freshman year.

At first, photography was just her method to record and keep family memories, but slowly she started to take photos of the trees, grass, flowers, and anything related to nature. She is fond of nature photography because it is her comfort zone; she loves to surround herself with nature. Seeing people enjoying themselves makes her relaxed and happy, too.

As she continued to explore making images, she also became interested in portraiture as well as product imagery. Nayeli finds it amazing how you can show who you are and what you love through photography.

Paola
Jaime, 18

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My name is Paola Jaime and I’m an 18-year-old Latina living in the heart of Boyle Heights. I am currently a Freshman at UC Davis, majoring in political science.

Photography has allowed me to break out of my shell and insecurities, and express myself and the needs of my community. I utilize photography to tell a visual narrative about the cultural richness and everyday realities of my family and community.

I’ve always doubted my creative capabilities, but photography has offered me a space for fearless creation and exploration.

Rocío
Hernández, 17

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Rocío Hernández is a 17 year old living in East La/Boyle Heights. As an immigrant child she had to leave her home country and navigate a strange world in the United States. As life in the United States continues she forgets her life in El Salvador, the only comfort is photographs of her when she was a child.

Her interests in photography began at a young age, despite not having a camera or her own phone, she would use her mother’s phone to capture certain attractions. When she finally discovered Las Fotos Project in 2019 she was really happy they provided equipment for their students. Rocío keeps coming back because she has found a community of powerful women that she learns from every semester. Whether it’s photography, school or life, Rocío is grateful for Helen Alonzo for always helping her realize that she can. Through every semester Rocío learns she loves to capture her friends and family, views wherever she goes, she experiments with B&W. Currently her favorite is product photography “because they do not move a lot”. She hopes to one day be able to travel so she can capture the world: all the beauty and all the ugly.

Sofia
Liashcheva, 17

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Hi:) My name is Sofia. I’m a Russian-born queer artist, and I now reside in Los Angeles. I immigrated to the United States in 2017, and it has significantly changed me not only as an artist but a person. I have become more liberated in expressing who I am through photography. My artistic journey began when I first attended the Arts Academy for Youth when I was 11 years old. Once I immigrated to the US, I started attending a high school with an arts-oriented curriculum. Later, I joined the Las Fotos Project in their fight for equal rights for women in the male-dominated art industry. I gained a sense of belonging to a community of artists that use art to help those whose voices are so commonly unheard.

I think that photography as an advocacy tool is one of the strongest and most powerful due to the message it can send as well as the audience it can reach. Looking through a camera lens gives me a sense of looking farther and seeing the world wider. Through my art practice, I wish to capture the beauty and uniqueness of every moment, person, living and non-living thing that surrounds me. I enjoy working with people that are interested in having their little worlds captured. I strive towards telling a story of my subjects through photography.

Veronica
Monjaras, 18

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Veronica Monjaras is an 18-year-old photographer based in Los Angeles. 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.

She 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 to help tell their story.


Thank you to our CEO: Techniques Student, Melody Hernandez (not pictured), for your dedication to photography and creativity this semester.

Special Thank you to our funding partners: The Ahmanson Foundation, The Goldhirsh Foundation, Hollywood Foreign Press Association,  California Arts Council, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund & Converse