MARIA PENALOZA

Age: 26

Tell us about yourself.

All my friends call me Mia. I was born in a small city in Ecuador but been living in Queens, NY since I was 2 years old. Sometimes when I sit, my feet don’t touch the ground (I’m 4’10). I was raised on hip hop and love New York City.

How did you start taking photos?

In highschool, I convinced my mom to buy me this Sony cellphone because it took decent photos. I started shooting my friends and never stopped.

What do you like to shoot?

People in their environment. Whether that’s lost in alcohol at a bar or working in their room. I’m attracted to people who are creative.

What camera do you use?

Lots. I always have my Yashica T4 on me. Sometimes I shoot with my Contax T2, Ricoh GR1v, disposables and Leica Sofort. For editorial shit, I bring along Cliff, aka my 5D Mark III. But I don’t believe it’s the camera that makes the photographer, it’s their ability to foresee or create a moment and capture it.

What would you say the main narrative behind your images are?

Native New Yorker Lifestyle.

What drives you as a photographer?

When I shoot someone and they see that image and share it, it makes my heart smile.

Who do you look up to in the photographic world?

Boogie. I almost cried when I met him. Elinor Carucci for having the courage to document and share her affair. Martha Cooper for documenting NY.

All the homies that are always shooting like Brock Fetch, Xavier Veal, Darnell Scott, Jessie Rocks, Destiny Mata, Aroundtheway & more.

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Which photo in your gallery is your favorite, why is that?

Aja with a baggie on her tongue. I shot half a roll in the bathroom with her. I didn’t direct her at all. When I saw the moment I told her to hold that and this was the result. It’s as raw as you can get.

Any last words?

If you a girl in NYC area and want to shoot or if you’re an artist and need any creative consulting/services, slide through my dms.

Instagram: ohmiamore

Website: www.ohmiamore.com (its in the works)

 

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