Los Angeles, California-based photographer Amanda Lopez was recently contacted by Instagram to photograph a series of portraits in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Each year, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation hosts the Hispanic Heritage Awards to celebrate and honor accomplished Latinx from around the world.
This year, Instagram created the first annual Mi Voz Award (My Voice Award) to honor five young Latin American community leaders who use their platform on Instagram to share their stories and amplify the causes that are important to them. Instagram created a promotional video featuring all five award winners and to accompany the video, they reached out to Amanda to create dynamic portraits of the honorees.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards aired on September 28th on PBS. The images Amanda created were shared in an article from CNN Espanol and a video from Telemundo. They were also widely shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter by journalists, organizations, and Instagram executives.
How did Instagram find you and choose you for this assignment?
I was hired directly by Instagram. They reached out to me after having seen my work on IG. I was told that there were a few names in the hat and that they liked my work the best so they reached out to see if I was available for the assignment. Luckily I was!
What was involved in the planning for the photoshoots – did you do all five in one day?
Instagram reserved a studio to record all 5 interviews in 1 day. Since sound and movement would be an issue inside the studio, my team and I created 3 separate pop-up studios outside the soundstage. All 5 individual photo shoots happened back to back in 30 minute blocks after their video interviews.
What was the objective of the project?
The objective was to create 3 beautiful portraits of each award recipient as well as a group photo. The client wanted authentic and poignant portraits and gave me some liberties with editing and creative direction.
What were the shoots like?
Sometimes creating portraits of 5 different people outdoors with natural light can be a little challenging with shifting light, changes in wind and fluctuating temperatures so just remember gaff tape and light diffusers are your best friend. The shoots were really fun. Everyone was easy going and a pleasure to work with so we got a lot of great photos.
As a Mexican-American myself, I was very honored to be invited to take portraits and uplift the voices of young people who are doing amazing work – to inspire not only the Hispanic community but the world at large.
See more of Amanda’s work on her website.
Photo Production: Memoryscape
Makeup: Evelyn Feliciano
Hair: Sam Divine
Video Production: The Colors You Like