Dhaka, Bangladesh is where i spontaneously ended up after taking a risk job to travel with a videographer as his behind the scene photographer. This adventure opened my eyes to the working class ,the hustlers, the providers of families and companies everyday work flow.
In spending most of my days living in a home of a man who had two wives, many companies and his own bodyguards, i managed to capture the little freedom a female can experience there.
In a society where it was not common for a female to speak in a room of men, I was honored to give a voice to those who work hard with their heads down and silent.
Thank you Bangladesh.
Lima, Peru is where my parents are from, born and raised. Im first generation American and at 22 yrs old is the first time I've ever seen people with the same face as my parents.
By using old, expired, and lost but now found film I captured moments in Peru focused primarily on the people of the streets. In everyday living for Peruvians religion plays a major roll.
These are the images of the "procession de el Señor de Los Milagros" (procession of the lord of miracles) in Lima.
New York City
Oh little me, trying to get through the rough city of New York crashing through Moshpits of dedicated individuals trying to get to their destinations. Everyday its the same push and pull of tug of war. The hardest part is looking up to giants and at the same time trying to look down to not trip over the concrete cracks. The city is brutal and the ground shakes when we move like cattle.
These images are a collection of what it feels like to be a short New Yorker trying to get through the high stairs, the glass doors, the newpsapers in your face.
The city I love is gritty and non apologetic and thats my motivation to keep moving forward.
Protest Against War on Iraq in NYC and Washington DC
The first apartment I had on my own was in Brooklyn on Hart Street. It was an area typically considered ‘dangerous’ by some statistic or graph.
Having grown up in Queens, I was already aware that the spiritual architecture of New York City is based in anonymity, business and remaining impersonal.
However, there are still very many parts of this city which value a sense of community and with that comes great suspicion as a newcomer.
I wanted to harness this energy of feeling of being a novice, an acolyte, fresh, new and native by throwing myself into something creatively new and extremely uncomfortable.
The following week I had moved in there was going to be a block party. The morning of, I left flyers on my unknown neighbors’ doors to stop by during the party and have their picture taken.
I had set up a seamless white background and all my equipment in front of my building with the help of fellow photographer Mauricio Quintero.
I had come to realize that when I work, I feel more interested in the environment than I do the subject. I used the seamless white background to go against that.
I wanted the focus to be on those who I had no idea how they would approach me or react to me. The viewer is engaging with my neighbors for the first time as I had.
I specifically went with a clear reference to Avadon using people from the neighborhood to convey the sense of local celebrity of the community as opposed to paid celebrities and models who spend hours in makeup and wardrobe prior to a closed studio shoot.
At first just the kids approached out of curiosity, then came the adults.
My favorite was the woman in the filigree shirt. She walked into frame, said nothing and stood there with a stoic look. After four shots, she walked off and that was it.
Using the white background, the blank space was emblematic not of nothingness, but of potential.
Occupy Wall Street
After a long days work, I like to unwind at home by stripping down the costume I made myself to survive the work flow, and the judgement of the world. I sit in the middle of the room and feel the cocoon of the walls covered in what inspired me hold me in safety.
The place where I just want to be.
I wondered if everyone did the same and if so, what do their walls looks like?
What happens when you strip down to your skin and allow yourself to be vulnerable in your own space. Do they feel freedom like I do?
I wanted to explore the concepts of privacy and physical ownership in a digital age where both are quickly diminishing and the divide between the external and internal selves. These images are personal moments I was allowed to capture in their state of vulnerability and trust. I got to know them in a deeper level by them just being them, and noticing their footprints and way they worked around their room by leaving behind their presence. The bare flesh does not make the subject more visually striking, but allows for the environment to consume them. I've never felt more connected to these people until they trusted me to be bare skinned and bare souled. These images made me feel like we were all one.
I shot this project with a partially defective 4x5 field camera on color positive film, in which I only possessed 4 frames at a time. I had to force pry the camera open every time which would jar the camera, forcing me to refocus and reposition every time, it was a difficult task but challenging at the same time.