story & interview by Tanvi Krishnakumar
Andrea Quiroz is a Colombian-born fashion and editorial photographer who uses her work to inspire people and uplift communities. She strives to use her art to shed light on people’s insecurities and to preserve moments and passions with the click of a camera.
Andrea comes from a family of artists. Her grandmother is a painter and there are several musicians in her family, so art is basically in her blood. She always gravitated towards art, particularly photography, as a medium of expression because she loved how she could use it to perfectly capture mood, colour, and emotion. Many cultures all over the world believe that when you take a picture of someone, you capture a little piece of their soul in it. It’s not the simple, mundane task that some make it out to be, but a true art form that celebrates life in all of its vibrant, infinite, splendored contradictions.
Her popular Instagram photography account, @andreaquirozzz, showcases models of all races and backgrounds--a perfect rainbow of diversity. Through photography, she's empowered to bring out the beauty in everyone, even those who are traditionally told that they are not beautiful by society.
Andrea is also passionate about exploring her Colombian roots through photography. During a visit to her homeland, she visited the historic region of Cartagena and photographed women in their cultural attire, decolonizing beauty in each snap. She posted the series on her Instagram to celebrate Women's History Month.
Not only does Andrea photograph, but she's a dedicated philanthropist and humanitarian. ‘Mission of Hope’ Haiti is an organisation that aims to provide relief to the Haitian people. Andrea began volunteering with them shortly after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. As a photographer, she took pictures of the conditions there and helped to raise awareness about the conditions in Haiti. She also prayed with the people there. In times of crisis, people are hard pressed to find hope, but Andrea helps them do exactly that.
A photographer has a lens through which they can see the entire world around them and, as such, Andrea wants her art to reflect the world that she sees around her. Her photographs are as diverse as the real world we live in, featuring people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Going forward she hopes to continue to tell stories and bring emotions to life through her works.
The Homegirl Project interviewed Andrea about her journey with photography, and where she intends to go next.
TK: What made you gravitate towards photography as a mode of expression?
AQ: I found that photography was the best way to express myself because it’s the only form of art that can stop time for just one moment. I like having the freedom of creating and capturing people, emotions, rawness, colors, moods, etc.
TK: What subjects inspire you?
AQ: I love all people! I’m inspired by different cultures.
TK: How do you deal with imperfections and insecurities as an artist?
AQ: I’ve actually made it a point to encourage other people to love their flaws and conquer their insecurities.
TK: Could you describe your experiences in Haiti with the Mission of Hope Haiti?
AQ: Haiti is a place really close to my heart. I started serving there after Hurricane Matthew. I go and serve the people of Haiti, pray for them, work on projects to improve their community and capture the moments all along.
TK: Do you think that visibility is important & that it can lead to empowerment?
AQ: I do, I think it's very important. It creates a platform, once there's a platform there are greater chances to empower others.
TK: What does the word ‘homegirl’ mean to you?
AQ: To me, ‘homegirl’ means a friend- someone who’s there for you even when a situation isn’t ideal or nothing seems like it’s going right.
TK: Is there something that inspires you?
AQ: “Let all that you do be done in love” -1 corinthians 16:14
TK: What are your goals with photography going forward?
AQ: I hope to be a fashion and editorial photographer. Traveling around the world capturing different people and cultures and bring awareness.