I grew up in East Los Angeles and Riverside. Throughout my childhood there wasn’t much diversity in the community I had. Growing up I didn’t learn about different cultures, different lifestyles, and the importance of diversity. In 2013, I moved to the Bay Area for college and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The Bay is the most diverse place in the world and in my time here, people have shared with me so much about their backgrounds. So many of my friends’ families have taken the time to teach me about their cultures and traditions, and I learned about how unique everyone’s lifestyle is and how important it is to respect the different values that we hold.
I was introduced to photography in college by my good friend, Brian. He had lent me his camera and I made an instant connection with photography that I didn’t know existed. I didn’t take classes for it, I didn’t have a mentor, but I did turn to the online community to learn and was able to teach myself what I needed to know. The main drive that keeps me going is the proud feeling I get when I’m able to create a visual narrative, a mood, and to send off a message for someone to see. That is powerful to me. Since I’ve started, I use my craft to connect with people, learn more about different cultures, give back to the community, express myself, and travel to where I can.