“I plan to create, execute and succeed with an idea by the age of 25. [This] sounds ambitious, but after hearing these real women speak, I believe it’s all possible.”–Dianna Martinez
She may be young, but Las Fotos Project youth member Dianna Martinez is already thinking BIG! Though she’s still in college, Dianna has already spearheaded her own photobooth businesses and has grand plans to expand her business in the hopes of providing other young photographers with the opportunity to make a living doing what they love. Find out what other BIG plans Dianna has in store for her future and how her attendance at last fall’s Latinas Think Big event in Los Angeles helped inspire them.
How did you become involved with Las Fotos Project?
I became involved with Las Fotos Project in early spring. There was a training I was going to begin taking with the East Los Angeles Women’s Center called the Young Women Development Training, which covers issues on domestic violence, misogyny, gender identity, and how to be resourceful by being able to help others who are in need of guidance. ELAWC collaborated with Las Fotos Project to bring in a creative arts aspect to the training. We had to develop and photograph a theme that was relevant to what we were covering during our sessions. At the end of it all, we participated in a photo exhibit, then more opportunities arose and I decided to get even more involved with Las Fotos Project.
Had you been interested in photography prior to joining Las Fotos Project?
Oh yes! My interest in photography goes way back, even before I knew Las Fotos Project existed. It was something I enjoyed doing and never really thought of growing besides it being a hobby. I still remember my father giving me my first small digital camera for my thirteenth birthday. I finally had something to take pictures with, because back then I didn’t even have a cellphone–or a cellphone with a camera, for that matter. But my interest goes back even further; I was amazed to look at photographs that were from years before I was even born. I believed (and still believe) that every photograph is a “piece of the past” that I am able to see in the present, and later someone [else will see it] in the future.
What are three lessons that you have learned as a youth member of Las Fotos Project?
Three lessons I’vee learned as a youth member of Las Fotos Project is that community matters, we can create things that positively impact others, and we are able to see a project from inception through execution.
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
My two favorite [subjects to photograph] are people and abstract street photography. I find people to be the most interesting subjects to photograph. Every individual has a different story. My lifetime goal is to meet every individual possible, and photography is a way to document them. And I like street photography because it is natural, not set up. I’ll photograph anything and everything that is interesting.
How would you describe your experience at the Latinas Think Big event in L.A. last fall?
My experience at the Latinas Think Big event was great! Walking in, I was fascinated by all the businesswoman in the room, and I was intrigued by who was who. Given the name of the event, these were women who are doing something big in their community, and I wanted to meet them. I left with inspiration and motivation to do something BIG. I was amazed at how far they have gone at a fairly young age. I plan to create, execute and succeed with an idea by the age of 25. [This] sounds ambitious, but after hearing these real women speak, I believe it’s all possible.
Did any of the presentations resonate with you?
I loved the presentations overall. Every woman was inspiring in their own way. The one presentation that resonated with me was Rocio Romero’s presentation about architecture. What I loved is that she is a female architect who went against the odds of working in construction and created green homes. She had the support of her family, her mother by her side, helping her with the business. I loved the work she has done.
I also enjoyed learning about Martin Mares Ivy League Project. These types of projects are great because they give opportunities to those who are less fortunate, but who have the equal right to move forward in life.
Looking ahead, what are your BIG THOUGHTS and IDEAS for your future? What is your planned career path?
As a business major at Cal State Univ.-Los Angeles, I am developing a photo booth business. Depending the occasion, there are props and backdrops to choose from. These are interactive and fun. All the photos taken are high resolution digital files and can be shared. This is a job that I created for myself, but that can be easily be expanded to hire others who might be interested once the business grows.
Along with the photo booth, I plan to expand in the other fields of photography– from portraits, concert/event photography, photojournalism, etc.
For more information about Las Fotos Project, visit: http://lasfotosproject.org/