How did you get into photography/videography?
Photography and visual art has always been a staple in my life. From watching movies, to music videos, I got inspired by the vision people like Stanley Kubrick, Hype Williams, Herb Ritts and many others to create. I've been taking photos for as long as I can remember. When I visited DR, I had my first digital camera, and I began taking many photos around the city of Santiago. From there I began taking more photos and started developing my own style of photography which is taking a photo and then editing it in bright and unusual colors.
What did you first use to take photos?
My first camera was a small Vivitar digital camera. It was a pretty crappy camera but I made due. For some reason, everytime I took photos of things like the sky or something bright, it would get this strange pink tint. From there I began experimenting with the colors on photoshop, and that's how I developed my style.
Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?
I went to a school named Community School For Social Justice in the BX, and being in that school really inspired me to be creative because it was such a small school and we had more one on one time with our teachers. Thanks to an art teacher in Senior Year named Zack, he let us have free expression on what we believed art was to us. I am self taught in both photography and photoshop.
Do you have any nicknames? How did you get that name?
My nickname is Carlita which in Spanish translates to "Little Carla". Ever since I was a child, I have been called this endearing term, and it just stuck when it came time to have a artist name. My Instagram name Carlitaz_Way came from a running joke with my friends, and surprisingly it's not inspired because of the movie, but a dembow-duo from the Dominican Republic called Carlitos Way and Crazy Design, and it just stuck haha.
If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?
Kelis- Because as a young woman of color, when I first saw Kelis, I thought to myself, I've never seen a woman like this in mainstream music, who looked like me and had natural hair like mine. I consider her a fashion icon, and I'm a huge fan of her music.
Chaka Khan- She has been an icon in music for over 30 years, and I have always loved her sense of style be it in music or fashion and the overall legend that she is. She is one of my favorite entertainers of all time, and I'd love to capture her.
Sade-Another icon for me, her music has been the soundtrack to my life. She is a timeless beauty.
If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?
PRINCE!- He inspired and still inspires so much in me, as a photographer and artist. His attention to detail, and his visual artistry is something that the world will never have again.
Gustavo Cerati-A musical genius, a visionary. Without his music, most of my work would've never been created.
Alexander McQueen-He taught me to push the envelope, and to not have fear about the darkness that can lie underneath the brightness of life, and to work harder to develop myself as an artist.
If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?
Mexico City, Mexico
What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?
I want to capture them in their most natural light, flash is usually a big no-no for me, because I feel that the light from the flash usually takes away from the natural moment. I want to capture their energy. A lot of my photos are taken intuitively, when I feel like its the right time.
What music do you listen to when you edit photos?
Mostly Prince, disco, and funk.
What's your favorite app on your phone?
Hmm... Instagram and my music.
What is your dream as a photographer?
To be able to show the world what a Afro-Latina from the Bronx can do, and be able to inspire other people to create, and to tune into their dreams and make it happen. I want to be able to reach as much people as I can through my lens, and continue capturing photos that are nostalgic and very important to capture in the ever changing climate of NYC.
What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?
Don't stop. Your dream is yours to live, and always keep pushing forward. Also, being able to take constructive criticism is very important in the world of photography. Take that constructive criticism and learn from it but never change your style because of something someone said to you. It is important to keep a level head, and focus on goals one at a time.
Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)