It’s been one year since we hosted four young photographers from Las Fotos Project (LFP) at our Los Angeles studios to have a day of mentorship with our creative team. These budding artists were enrolled in Las Fotos Project’s CEO program, where they offer mentees first-hand experiences working as photographers in the industry. That day, we watched as their confidence grew, not only in their skillset but also in themselves—a sight just as beautiful as the art they were creating—which is why we’re not done yet. As part of our commitment to empower and invest in the Latinx community, we are proud to commit to a one-year partnership with Las Fotos Project.
“A lot of Hispanic profiles in front of the camera feel like that one version of what a Latino/a/x looks like in a Eurocentric way,” says Salazar. “That really hits home. I have very indigenous features, and I have never felt represented.” That feeling of being othered sparked this photography series and her desire to create something her entire community can relate to.
“We are a cosmic race, a global diaspora with extremely diverse beauty and unique qualities,” says the Guatemalan-American photographer. “As we speak, we are healing and coming into our power as a culture, yet we are still fighting for our place and are observed in a certain way within the media.”
With the assistance of mentees from LFP, Salazar used her poetic, timeless, and dreamy aesthetic to photograph members of the Latinx community who are making their mark on culture as a whole. Her models: costume designer Sailor D. Gonzales, model and hairstylist Lana Hunter, laser cut artist Fatima Nieto, DJ and stylist Sandra Armenta, community organizer Andrea Skater, and many, many more (which you’ll see throughout this story!).
“This project's purpose is to capture some amazing beings that are contributing to the foundation and representation of our people in the creative world,” says Salazar. “Showing the people behind the photos, music, wardrobe, and events that inspire us.”
She continues: “We have yet to highlight the visionaries of our present. Celebrating their unique beauty is proof that our ancestry and culture are not a limitation but a power move. To be brown and proud in the spaces we shine through can create the lives we want and change the mindsets of those around us that don’t understand us.”
Through the Exploring Latinx Beauty portrait project, Salazar hopes to inspire women and show members of the LGBTQ+ Latinx community that they are beautiful and that there is space for them to achieve their dreams. “The change is happening as we speak,” she says. “And we can really change the trajectory of our people and heritage.”
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