Monroe Alvarez might take some of the world’s greatest “selfies.” She once did a road trip solo just to shoot them. But her portfolio and website are filled with incredible lifestyle and studio images. We recently chatted to her about her style and got this impressive sample of images. Redefining “selfie” series included.
What Youth: How old were you when you got into photography? How were you introduced?
Monroe Alvarez: Well… my father is a photographer and my mother was a model so I grew up around photography.
Do you remember the first time you realized, “This is what I want to do”. Like the first time that you made a photograph that made you want to keep doing it or that felt like your own?
I’ve always had a camera on me, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I decided to go forward with it as a career. It was one of those “A-HA!” moments… I remember thinking, “Oh wait, I can get paid to do what I love? So I wouldn’t ever have to “work” a day in my life. Down.” And ever since then I’ve been going after my dream.
How did you develop your skills? Technically and creatively. Did you go to school or have a mentor?
Being a model for 10 years I always made sure to pay attention to what was being done on set. Lighting position, camera settings, etc. And with my dad as a photographer, he is the best teacher I could ever ask for. Everything else I taught myself. I took a course for photography for one semester but I got very bored with it because I had already taught myself everything they were teaching me, and I felt as if it wasn’t a very creative surrounding. I could have kept going at it with school but I made the executive decision to take my schooling to the streets and teach myself, just like I have done with everything else.
What are you into shooting now?
I love shooting men. There’s something about them that I understand better than women. I know how to capture their essence in such a raw way that comes off genuine instead of “modely.”
Any recent travels for photography?
I went to Maderas Village in Nicaragua three times in the past five months. I can’t get enough. I became very close with the residents at the hotel and we all decided one drunken night to take nude photos the next morning. Those nude photos are some of my favorite pictures I have taken. It represents an Adam and Eve feel, a very exposed but comfortable way of being. The photos have gotten some traction with magazines and on social media, its pretty cool.
What inspires you?
People. Traveling. Stories. So many ideas and inspiration for projects come from random conversations you have with people, its just whether or not you are open to see it.
Any plans for this upcoming year?
Focusing on myself and work more than ever. I plan to make 2016 my biggest year yet, the year that everything will really be put into motion on a grander scale. I won’t be holding back with anything that I want to do. I can’t fucking wait!