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

Hi Luis, what principle do you value most?
Something i’ve learned over time that i value immensely as a principle is keeping your word. Understanding that verbally communicating an impression or expectation is far more valuable with following through then any other principle. Its a development of trust,connection and reliability which can be boundless in a business, if you take yourself seriously, others will do the exact same!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My deep passion and admiration for photography brewed from using the medium to document my instantaneous urban-exploration lifestyle growing up as a teen in New York City. I soon came to the realization that I wanted to alternatively diverge my focus to preserve the rich cultures found amongst the streets of New York City. I approached this with the sole intention of highlighting people that represent life in the city at its core while concurrently revealing the genuine connections I cultivated between the subjects and myself. This practice has driven me to document life in various countries while continuously searching for similarities in culture and community as it exists in New York City. More recently, the matters revolving around the disparities black communities face across America have led me to connect deeper with my identity as a POC to the extent where I feel it is my artistic obligation to create, document, and share more positive black imagery. It is an indispensable truth that future generations need to witness and be inspired by narratives of POC contrary to what has already existed in order to yield a transformative future for us all.

Its difficult to put myself in a box by definition within my career because my vision is so expansive and will never be content with applying myself to only one focus. I have a few projects im working on that i cant mention but am excited to announce in the near future. it wasn’t easy at all getting myself where i am today in a professional realm and i think once it starts to become easy, maybe its time to challenge yourself in a new way. I want the world to know that where all powerful , that its imperative with the time we have on this world that we use it proactively to leave a positive mark!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I couldn’t give away too many of New Yorks Gems during this interview, my best answer would be to veer away from every cliche and strike up conversations with people within their communities. Listen to some of the history that people have to share within their connection with New York. Watch some sunsets on rooftops in Chinatown with some beers in hand, get lost in momentum of manhattan and eventually make your way on a bike riding through Brooklyn to witness some soul! Experience it for yourself and any expectations you have, throw them away!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think its easy for me to say i want to shout out New York! For offering the support, mentorship, love and encouragement. Growing up in New York has offered this endless wave of connections that has left me inspired and ambitious enough to want more from myself. Along with my brother Simon Santana who was a rebel growing up which influenced so much of my independent thought and path of self expression.

Website: Luis-Santana.com

Instagram: @luissantanaaaa

Image Credits
Portrait of me taken by Shravya Kag

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