Emily De La Torre is creating compelling visual stories that resonate with a diverse audience. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. At 25, she’s a queer Latinx artist using her camera to capture more than just images. “I started taking photos in 2014 as a way to navigate my life and further explore my queerness,” she reveals.
In Emily’s work, you won’t find artificial poses or over-calculated lighting. Instead, her focus is on making her subjects feel at ease and authentic in front of the camera. I pride myself on making everyone feel comfortable on set,” she says, challenging an industry that often overlooks the talents of POC and queer artists.
Her subjects range from models to everyday people, often spotlighting POC women who find solace in her empathetic gaze. “The womxn that I work with usually tell me they don’t feel comfortable shooting with male photographers. Therefore, when they shoot with me, it’s a sense of relief,” Emily states, grounding her work in lived realities.
Whether she’s shooting on film—a Canon T-70 or a Yashica-D usually at her side—or digitally for client projects, De La Torre aims to capture authentic moments that extend far beyond mere visual appeal. “I want people to see my photos as natural and not forced. I want them to make people feel happy and excited about the photo—coming from a queer perspective,” she explains.
Scroll down for our full interview with Emily De La Torre, and get to know the photographer who’s as focused on social change as she is on her art.
This photo I took at my friend Maya Salinas’ apartment in LA. It was a fun project we did together, and we both wanted to capture the essence of the building she lived in along with the older Hispanic families that lived in the same building. I always tend to shoot with the subject off-center to the left. If you look closely, a lot of my photos are like that. It’s just something I’ve liked doing.
These photos I took for my lovely friend’s brand, De Florenzio, with beautiful Sarita. We took these at Griffith Park, and they just came out so vibrant and ethereal appearing.
This photo set is one of my favorites. These are outtakes from my first-ever photo Zine that I self-published. Called “Go-Sees: A Tribute” was a zine I made in likeness to Juergen Teller’s Go-Sees book. Teller captured models outside of his office in London in the same spot, and I did the same in Little Tokyo (Los Angeles). Some place I basically grew in when I was younger. For my zine, I threw my first-ever photo show and it was a big step in my career.
These photos are of one of my best friends, Liana. We got a room in a motel, and she’s an amazing stylist, so she styled herself, and everything came out beautiful. I love these images so much.
Saved the best for last. These are of my sister, Bella. We took these for a brand in LA called Amor Prohibido. My sister is someone I’ve taken photos of for so many years since I first started really. So I love that I’m able to keep creating with someone I love and produce beautiful work like this, especially for brands and clients.