We had the good fortune of connecting with Iliana Ipes and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Iliana, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
My favorite quote would definitely have to be “Siempre Adelante”. It’s not a quote by a famous poet or author, it’s something my abuela has always said to me. Her name is Mirtha Ipes and she is the voice in the back of my head, the voice that breaks through any doubts I have. I definitely have a tendency to dwell in the past and have a hard time not getting stuck there, but having these two simple but powerful words to bring myself back to has been a grounding and motivating force in my life to keep me moving full steam ahead. When I turned 18, I even got it tattooed on myself for some extra reinforcement!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I graduated from Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts in May 2018 and moved to Los Angeles in June of 2018 to pursue cinematography. I didn’t start shooting right away and I did a lot of camera assisting for short films, features, commercials. I did that for about two years and during that time, I really started to lose my confidence in my ability to be a cinematographer. I saw so many people with so much more experience than me and wondered how I could ever get to their level. I really let that get to me for a long time. At the end of 2020, I realized I needed to make a choice. I needed to get out of my own way and push aside what other people were doing and follow my own path. I decided to quit camera assisting and focus on being a cinematographer. This started with just being able to have the confidence to call myself one, somehow that was the toughest part? Haha.
The biggest lesson for me, to put it simply, was to “get out of my own way”. Yes, it’s tough to push yourself forward in the film industry, but it really just starts with making the decision to do so in the first place.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is the perfect question because my best friend Gabby is coming to LA and I have a few places I wanted to show them! Some of my favorite places in LA to eat from are Shojin, Leonor’s Mexican Vegetarian Restaurant, and Lettuce Feast food truck. One of my favorite places to get some exercise that’s not too far is Point Mugu. It’s a steep hike, but when you get to top, you can look over the water and mountains and it’s absolutely beautiful!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As cliche as it may sound, so much of where I am and where I will go, is thanks to my parents. I am so incredibly lucky have had two amazing parents, Carlos and Maria Ipes, raise me. My parents raised to me to believe in myself, both through their words and their actions. Growing up in a world where there might be less opportunities for people of color, they never made me feel like that could stop me, ever. The ceiling could never stop me they said. They have been my support system throughout my entire life and were fully on board when I told them I wanted to pursue film even though they knew it would mean that I would have to move far away from them. After college, I moved from my hometown of Lake Worth, Florida all the way across the country to Los Angeles and it was one of the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I knew pursuing my dreams would take me far away from them, but that day finally came and it hurt my heart so badly to be away from them; the family that I had to move away from is the same family that raised me to be strong enough to do so.

Website: ilianaipes.com

Instagram: @ilianaipesdp

Twitter: @ilianaipesdp

Other: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user14169325

Image Credits
Sam Croberts (@sammcroberts) Annie Schifflette Justin Sadler Aaron Pagniano

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