Talented photographer, Arlene Mejorado, visited the Harmony House on Friday, March 8, 2019. She had a discussion with folks on the work she has done as a teacher for Las Fotos Project in LA, her documentary photographic work in “La Pulga” created in San Antonio's tiangis, her editorial work with La Liga on their issue of Latinidad & Colorism, and her ongoing project with Haitijuanenses, Haitian migrants creating community and changing the cultural and racial composition of Tijuana. In her most recent project, she wanted to photograph intimate moments of tenderness in spaces that Haitijuanenses felt safe. Rather than depicting pictures of trauma and extreme vulnerability that newscasters often exploit, her goal was to focus on the community and solidarity this group is forming in Tijuana.
We also spoke about the use of “shooting” or “taking” a photograph as words with violent connotations. She prefers to “make” a photo or “have a session.” Moreover, when speaking about photographing vulnerable groups and practicing ethical photography, she always gives people the agency to pose how they want and choose how they want to be seen.
After learning about her art, Arlene had set up speed lights and a strobe kit in the upstairs room, where folks had the chance to practice portraiture photography. She taught us how to use reflectors, adjust camera exposure and settings, and take Baddie pics!