A Year of Culinary Discovery: My Journey with Apostrophe Reps’ AMP Mentorship

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Apostrophe Reps’ AMP: 2023 was such an exciting year for me.

I still remember the flutter of excitement in my stomach when I received the email confirming my acceptance into Apostrophe Reps’ AMP mentorship program. It felt like a dream come true, a golden ticket into a world I had always admired from afar. Words can barely capture the gratitude I feel towards Kelly and the incredible team at Apostrophe Reps for this opportunity.

As part of Apostrophe Reps’ AMP, we were tasked with directing and producing a shoot centered around the theme of “belonging.” This concept resonated with me deeply, intertwining with my passion for genealogy and food photography. Since 2020, tracing my family tree has been more than a hobby; it’s been a journey of self-discovery, especially through the isolating days of the pandemic.

A Taste of Ancestry: Blending Genetics with Gastronomy

In 2021, a DNA test unveiled my diverse roots – primarily in Mexico, Spain, and Nigeria. This revelation sparked an idea: what if I could create a narrative that celebrates these cultures through their culinary arts? The challenge was immense, yet thrilling. How could I weave the rich textures and flavors of these three distinct cultures into one cohesive story?

Collaborating with Olivia Caminiti was a pivotal moment in bringing this vision to life. Her creativity and enthusiasm for the project matched my own, and together we embarked on this ambitious journey. Hours were spent with Audrey, meticulously selecting props and background boards that would do justice to each dish’s unique story.

But the heart of this experience was my family. Having my mother, older brother Juan, niece Alicia, and her children, RJ, Aubriella, and Nora, as hand models, brought an authentic touch of love and heritage to the shoot. Their involvement made this project more than just a photoshoot; it was a family reunion, a celebration of our shared history.

It Takes a Village

This project reaffirmed the age-old saying: it takes a village. The guidance and support from Apostrophe Reps were invaluable, providing insights and encouragement at every step. This mentorship wasn’t just about honing skills; it was about community, collaboration, and pushing creative boundaries.

The AMP mentorship was an unforgettable journey, a testament to the power of creative collaboration and the beauty of exploring one’s heritage through art. It was an opportunity to grow, not just as a photographer, but as a storyteller, a curator of culture.

Are you looking to embark on a similar creative adventure? Contact me today to discuss your vision and how we can bring it to life.


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