PHOTOCULTURE Conversations Episode #15: Eric V. Ibarra

By Paula Ely

Eric V. Ibarra is the Founder and Executive Director of Las Fotos Project, a non-profit, community-based photography program whose mission is to bring about positive change for teenage girls facing adversity.

Eric was introduced to photography at a young age by his mother, Sofia, who was an avid photographer that loved documenting family parties and travels, creating photo albums, and archiving the Ibarra family history. During his teenage years, Eric became more interested in photography and received his first 3-megapixel digital camera as a gift from his parents. Taking it everywhere - to soccer practice, parties, hanging out with friends - Eric quickly began to appreciate the process of documenting his own stories and adventures. After attaining his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Cal State Fullerton, Eric learned about therapeutic photography, phototherapy, and photography for social change. This led to the development of a project that would put cameras in the hands of young people and teach them how to document their own stories. In the summer of 2010, Las Fotos Project was born.

We spoke on August 14 at the Las Fotos Project gallery in Lincoln Heights.