I was born in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles in the 70's after my moms car collided with a bread truck. I was raised on Mount Washington by some Mexican hippie, musician, painter type folk. My grandfather built our home out of old movie set pieces he made for the studios in the 40's and 50's. It sat in a canyon on a dirt road all by itself. Chickens, turtles, rabbits, ducks, parrots, dogs and cats roamed free just as my siblings and I did with almost zero supervision. It was a magical kingdom before internet and helicopter parenting.
Every summer my grandmother took us to Guadalajara, Mexico on the train to visit our family. We'd spend time there and then take a taxi over the mountains to a cobblestone pueblo on the beach in Nayarit. She was the curandera of the pueblo so all nine cousins would explore the jungle and beaches while she did her work. There were fireflies at night and during the early morning crocodiles ate chickens in the swamp nearby. It was peaceful, beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. The people of the pueblo were so warm, the colors so vivid and everyone fed us everywhere we went and the food was delicious.
As I grew up I became the neighborhood babysitter on the hill. I had sometimes thirteen kids on New Year's eve so we had our own party. I made bank. I loved babies and little kids because they were so funny and free. I'd rather hang out with them than most adults.
As I grew up even more I studied Child Development (thinking I would become a teacher) and Photography while I nannied for a celebrity. I took photos of the kids I cared for daily, processed and printed images that would become featured as a gallery on the walls of the family home. Their friends would hire me and friends of theirs would hire me and before I knew it I was making more money taking pictures than I did as a nanny.