LatinaLista -- The power of photography can't be underestimated. Simple pictures that show the joy, complexity, sadness of life are more powerful than words could ever convey. Photographers who have the opportunity to bring those images to life and share them with a wider audience are bound to feel pretty special.
For those who created the Los Angeles-based Las Fotos Project, that is precisely the intent.
Las Fotos Project uses photography to empower Latina youth by providing them with a creative outlet to make positive changes in their lives. Las Fotos Project collaborates with schools and organizations to develop projects that engage students' imagination and creativity while building their confidence and self-esteem.
Founded in 2010 by Eric V. Ibarra, the goal is to create participatory photography programs for Latina youth residing in cities throughout the country with large Latino populations.
The program gives budding photographers the chance to attend workshops where they are mentored by professional photographers, given their own cameras and dispatched to click pics of their neighborhoods, special events, friends and family or everyday surroundings.
The girls' work doesn't just languish on a computer hard drive. Founders of Las Fotos Project have struck up partnerships with various art organizations, galleries, city events and art shows to expose the girls to various photo opportunities and, in turn, highlight their hard work and their unique perspective that they are bringing to the world through their pictures.