Crafting your passion takes patience, confidence and a whole lot of time. These photographers elevate this art form to a new level, allowing their audience into their creative minds and their intentions. This list of fierce fotógrafas are not only telling stories with their pieces, they are creating community, challenging narratives and carving spaces for themselves in a male-dominated industry.
Exploring these fotógrafas intersectionality, visibility and joy, take a look at the beauty of empowered Latina artists throwing themselves in their work.
1. Arianna Cuesta, Ojos Nebulosos
This Boricua-Dominican photographer seeks to capture truth in the most honest way she knows possible: holding on to her roots and challenging what Afro-Caribbeans and Latinos are “supposed” to look like. Arianna Cuesta, or Ojos Nebuloso, celebrates and demonstrates the multifaceted beauty of being Afro-Latino with projects like her Yemaya and Locs Series. Her portrait style photography echoes an artistic approach demanding her audience to look at Afro-Latinas straight in the eye, acknowledging all of their glory.
2. Glenda Lissette
Chicago-based Guatemalteca Glenda Lissette is a multimedia art photographer who is constantly finding new ways to tell her story through color. Distorting her self-portraits and layering her pieces with illustrations, she unapologetically re-creates her reality as a young brown woman seeing herself reflected in all places and spaces.
3. Stefany Ruiz
DC native Stefany Ruiz follows color to tell stories and create opportunities for entrepreneurship. Bringing the eclectic and raw side of her portraits, the salvadoreña crafts a narrative intended to draw the joy of her work. This budding photographer and hyperlocal artist aims to create community in the District while supporting local businesses of color.
4. Zarita Zevallos
Zarita Zevallos, a Haitian photographer based in New York, is a groundbreaking artist, period. Her stunning visual pieces of work take a hard look at the world around us and unearths what we sometimes feel we cannot verbalize. From delving into Black masculinity with her Kòktèl project to exploring what our self means on social media, Zevallos is a true creative who is pushing the boundaries.
5. Joana Toro
After a break I come back with my serie of Latino and black LGTB voices. November is transgender month of remembrance, many activities happened I want to share some activities and profiles. Meet Tiffany a trans woman who passion for work is well notice in The Center a community place for LGTB communities, providing programs for health, wellness and community connection. “Ten years ago, I was living on the streets, kicked out by my family after I came out as a transgender woman. I was doing whatever I had to do to survive, to make a living and get my hormones, all while trying to avoid terrifying violence and harassment. And then I found The Center. Today, with The Center’s help, I now have health insurance and a doctor who prescribes me safe and affordable hormones. Now I give back to my community as a Center intern, providing HIV testing and support services to my trans brothers and sisters. It feels like my life is finally back on track.” – Tiffany . #translivematter #lgtb #lgtbrights #transgender #translatinx #translatina #blackisbeautiful #transblack #loveislove #pride #joanatoro #newyorkcity
Self-taught photographer Joana Toro splits her time between New York and Bogota, Colombia. Her documentary styled photography explores human rights, identity and immigration. Letting people tell their own stories with their eyes, their expressions, their pain and their joy, Toro captures the everyday extraordinary moments in life.
6. Jessica Alvarenga
Salvi photographer Jessica Alvarenga is telling her people’s stories, often forgotten by others, amid the political turmoil Latinos are experiencing in the U.S. With her project, Witness the Isthmus, Alvarenga documents the stories of Central Americans in Houston. Exploring the intimacy of her portraits, Alvarenga is a promising artist aiming to expose the unexposed, reveal the nuances of being Central American in the U.S. and celebrate how they move in this world.
7. Maria Lau
Growing up Chinese-Cuban, Maria Lau has used fine art photography to explore her own story, her own fusion of cultures. Her visual form of storytelling is based in oral history, memory and family while experimenting with traditional and digital photography. Her series, “71,” is a decade-long search and desire to unite her Chinese and Cuban families, starting off as a mission to find her Chinese tias in Cuba. Using a double exposure technique, Lau expresses her process and her goal to trace her migration back to the Caribbean.
8. Zuly Garcia
Zuly Garcia’s flowery aesthetic and dreamy portraits of self-love is redefining what beauty means and looks like. Shining her indigenous roots, this Oaxaquena thrives on body positivity, celebrates femininity and exposes internalized racism. With her work, like Flores Politicos, the South Los Angeles photographer interrogates beauty standards and artistically calls that shit out.
9. Helen Salomão
Helen Salomao’s work is an experience encountering visual poetry. The Afro-Brazilian photographer innately grounds herself in dismantling racial stereotypes through street and fashion photography. Using her platform, she focuses on Afro-Brazilian beauty, joy and empowerment. Salomão’s work carves space for Afro-Brazilians to tell their own story and be the protagonists of their reality.
10. Mercedes Zapata
Chicago-based portrait photographer Mercedes Zapata intersects femininity, sexuality and respectability politics—while crashing the patriarchy. Her work focuses on women of color in Chicago, their creativity and how they take control of their own narrative. Zapata’s form of autonomous storytelling reveals an exciting, empowered and women-led art scene in the Chi.
11. Verónica Sanchis Bencomo
Hong Kong-based and Venezuelan bred photographer Verónica Sanchis Bencomo thrives on collaboration. She founded Fotos Feminas in 2014, a platform promoting the work of women photographers based in Latin America and the Caribbean. Developing a deep well of sources, Bencomo has exposed the work of dozens of photographers passionate about telling stories while fostering a community of Latin American women photographers. Both her photography and curatorial work focus on centering the narrative on intimacy.