The celebration of Hispanic Heritage month is a time of reflection, remembrance, and rising up as a community. As a Latina, being able to highlight this month in a way that is purposeful was important to me. So when I began thinking about what I wanted to create I knew instantly that it had to be something that focused on a Latina today, and her struggles in todays society. But I also wanted to bring in elements of our collective histories. And for that I leaned in on my love of Frida Kahlo for inspiration.

As I begin creating the mood board of this session I immediately thought of Frida's struggles, her injuries, her status as a woman in a time when being that was thought to be limiting, and I was inspired by her drive to create art that reflects herself.

The muse I chose for this Portrait session was the beautiful Janira (Instagram @Janiralisbeth), a Latina, activist, and all around inspiring young woman who has taken the world by storm, one photo at a time. Janira has never let her inability to walk, stand in her way. She paves the way.

I first met her over the summer for another session, and when I first spoke with Janira she absolutely took my breath away. It was refreshing to listen to a young Latina share so openly about her vision of herself, and how she had helped shape the minds of many on how they perceive females in a wheelchair, simply by being a face, a body, and a voice. As an influencer online she has used her presence to educate others on Disability Awareness, body acceptance, and all around amazing human things

It was a true honor to have her again in front of my camera.


This session was meant to highlight Janira's strength. I looked for inspiration from florals, bright colors, and a deep focus into the camera to help guide my art. She nailed it!

I wanted her gaze to be something that drew the on looker into her stare and feel her rise from struggle. When posing a person it is important to cue them to an emotion, so that we can try and capture that in camera. Often looking straight into someones eyes can also be intimidating, and that was not what I wanted. Instead, I wanted a to invoke a feeling of togetherness. Again, pulling this whole session back to celebrating National Hispanic Heritage month.


As a Latina, I have grown up hearing the stories of struggles my ancestors faced, both in their native lands, and here as Americans. In this Portrait Session I wanted to recognize that our young generation of Latinas and Latinos are still facing some of those same struggles, but are powering through them and coming out stronger. From her stance in the photos, to the elegance of the frame around her face, each photo was captured to reflect a sense of pride and distinguishing grace.

Although I took inspiration from Frida Kahlo, I was not trying to replicate the images exactly. As an artist I feel it is important to be inspired but not copy. The amazing Makeup Artist I worked with, Wray Villanueva (Instagram @wray.mua), truly understood my vision and was able to bring it to life. She helped recreate a very subtle version of Frida's iconic unibrow, but without focusing on it. This subtle detail allowed me to respectfully grab influence from the Latina Icon without trying to turn Janira into her.

In the end, my goal was to have the makeup look flawless and glamorous. Seriously, if you are looking for an artist with a makeup brush look up Wray!


As the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, I wanted to share the importance of creating a legacy, capturing each personas story in photos, and honoring the space we create on earth. Latinas and Latinos today are faced with many of the same struggles as those that came before us, but with their guidance and learning from our past, not erasing it, we can truly build a stronger community together.

I hope this inspires more people to take a moment and capture your own story. Grab a camera, hire a photographer, and document your image. Celebrate who you are, your culture, your accomplishments, your strength. Individual Portrait Sessions are important to telling the full story! I think that photography is made to capture every part of every story. In this case, I wanted to tell a story that felt known to many. The story of growth, struggle, and determination.

Share how you are Powerful.