BACKGROUND OF THIS PHOTO SERIES
From attending St. Edward’s University, my desire to learn about other cultures has grown so much. St. Ed’s is one of those universities that puts a heavy emphasis on study abroad and being a welcoming environment for students all around the world. I met people from Pakistan, South Korea, Columbia, etc, etc. I think it’s critical to learn about other cultures in order to broaden one’s viewpoints and perspectives in order to see the entire picture. Since I’ve graduated, I’ve still wanted to learn about the world around me. This is why I went about creating a collaborative project with models, photographers, and hair and make-up artists in the Austin area. The concept was to gather a group of women of varying ethnicities and cultural backgrounds in order for them to portray warriors from their home countries. I wanted the girls to tap into their inner strength but to also connect with their heritage. I reached out on Facebook in a Model and Photographer group to see who would be interested in working together. I had a huge response of people wanting to work on this project! I looked at individual portfolios and asked about cultures and heritage. One of the most important parts of this project is that I wanted to capture a wide range of cultures. In the end, I created two teams that shot on two different dates in two different locations. I loved getting to meet all these creatives and work with them! It was so much fun to see how other photographers worked; we all ended up with completely different work which was the best part!
THE MEXICAN, THAI, AND COLOMBIAN WARRIOR
Like most of the United States, Cathy’s cultural background comprised of vastly different cultures. Cathy already felt connected to her cultural roots because she used to compete in Thai pageants throughout her childhood. We were going to have her focus on her Colombian and Mexican roots because she hasn't tapped into that culture as much as her Thai roots; however, with the help of Courtney King of Bewitching Designs, Cathy was able to emulate a warrior of all her cultural backgrounds. Being inspired by the Aztec empire that ruled over Mexico, Cathy’s outfit uses skull imagery and dark tones to appear menacing. The Aztec army was one of the most ruthless armies in the Mesoamerica world. In order to rise in rank, an Aztec warrior had to take an enemy captive. To bring in some of Cathy’s Thai roots, Courtney included colorful purple and red tassels into Cathy’s headpiece.
Co-Photographer Team #1: Winter Kane
Co-Photographer Team #1: Maddie B.
MUA Team #1 and Team #2: Estelle Thomas and Delaney Rubenstein
Model Team #1 - Indonesian Warrior: Macia Rondonuwu
Model Team #1 - Mother Warrior: Anastacia Sterling
Model Team #1 - Scottish Warrior: Abbie Nevins
Co-Photographer Team #2: Gabe Vasquez
Co-Photographer Team #3: Louie Ayuma
Model Team #2 - Mexican, Thai and Colombian Warrior: Cathy Garcia
Model Team #2 - Athena: Danielle Poe
Model Team #2 - Irish Warrior: London Beal
Model Team #2 - Filipino Warrior: Vicky Mescher
Costume Designer for Athena, Filipino Warrior, and Thai and Columbian Warrior: Courtney King of Bewitching Dames