Son las ganas de hacer nacer tu sueños con trae esa lumbre. ¿En Inglés?
It’s the will to nourish your dreams that brings the fire, and I’m here to fan the flames. It’s what my parents wanted for me when we left Mexico in pursuit of a better life. My family had next to nothing when we landed in America, but together, we had everything. At five years old, my new life began. From that moment onward, despite humble beginnings and plenty of odds to overcome, I was determined to make my parents proud; They gave me the opportunity to chase fearlessly after my dreams. After that, there was only one thing left to do: hustle.
As my imaginative childhood gave way to a newfound shyness, photography was the gift that kept on giving. Inspired by the work of legends like Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman and Annie Leibovitz, I could finally express myself with ease – no words required. For years, my camera acted as a shield; With every image I captured, I could shine bright and loud without fear. Put simply? In the absence of words, I let my photographs speak for me.
I earned my business degree from Cal State to honor my parents, but at the end of the day, my dream of becoming a professional photographer was never far from my thoughts.
With a fresh diploma in hand, I celebrated my college graduation with an adventure abroad that changed me forever. Touching down in Paris, I was channeling Audrey Hepburn with a string of pearls around my neck and the wind at my back. As I stood beneath the glow of a sparkling Eiffel Tower, I felt a subtle tapping on my heart – a confirmation from deep within my soul: “I can do this. I have what it takes to be a professional photographer, full out.”
It would be scary, but is there anything worth having that isn't? I knew I’d have to push past the fear, trust fall into the unknown and shake off the “shoulds” of cultural expectations growing up in cities like Compton and Paramount. If that was the cost for wanting more from my life, I was ready to pay it.
My epiphany in Paris was nearly eight years ago, but here’s the best part about hindsight: I can look back and smile big, because I did the damn thing. Si se puede. I wanted more, and I had to go against the grain to get it. But between us? I’ve never felt prouder. As a first generation Latina, a business owner, a college graduate and an explorer of the world, I represent the American Dream my parents envisioned before they left everything behind. Everything I’ve built is because of them.
But here’s the thing: What fueled that fire in my heart more than anything –– more than the promise of a better life or surpassing my parent’s expectations –– was the radical sense of self belief that’s guided me ever since. Long story short? I believed I could live a life without compromises, so I did. I have myself to thank for this business I’ve built (not to mention the artform that’s got me head over heels obsessed). And I’m a better person for it.
More often than not, you’ll find me hitting the road or stamping my passport to capture another chic celebration. On a rare weekend off, however, there’s a good chance I’m training for my fourth LA marathon or spinning some vinyl at home with my fur baby, Penny Lane.