Spotlight on Valeria Metz: A Blend of Creativity, Motherhood, and Hispanic Heritage
This Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the story of Valeria Metz, a dynamic film photographer and content creator. Her journey intertwines her rich Latina heritage with her passion for motherhood and art.
"My name is Valeria Metz, I am a southern CA native living in Costa Mesa, and I am a film photographer and content creator!" Valeria shared. Her initial dive into photography came with unexpected turns. "I dropped out of college to pursue photography (after failing a film photo class ironically)," she recalled. For almost a decade, Valeria specialized in wedding photography. However, a combination of professional burnout and personal inspirations catalyzed her shift: "I was inspired by old photographs of my mom and my childhood, as well as my own parenting journey. It pushed me to transition to something more time-friendly with my schedule, and I fell in love with the integration of creating art and motherhood."
A Cultural Canvas
Valeria's Hispanic roots deeply influence her work. Discussing the birth of her 'Moms on Film' project, she said, "I started Moms on Film after documenting my own pregnancies on film and falling in love with how timeless and nostalgic it looked. I had searched for inspo pics that reminded me of when my mom was young and pregnant." More than an artistic endeavor, it was a space of representation. "I also saw that POC were lacking in the motherhood and art space and wanted to create a world where POC moms could be seen and known."
And her heritage continues to play a role in her collaborations. "I think my style attracts other women and brands who can relate to the cultural aspect of my work, and they gravitate towards working with me which is always an HONOR."
Drawing from her travels and experiences during her upbringing, Valeria shares a poignant memory, "We'd travel every year since I was a baby to visit my parent's families in Mexico, Peru, and Brazil... With that, my parents would always give me a disposable camera for each family trip... I feel like travel, family, people, and community inspired my love for photography with how much storytelling photos carry."
Inspiration and Community
When asked about Latina influences, Valeria enthusiastically mentioned, "Quite a few! Enrique Leyva, Carolina Isabel Salazar, Thalia Gochez, Sarita (@ch1ngona_af), Jenn (@jen4romtheblock), Naohmi (@amigastudio)."
Valeria's sense of community is evident in her work and her interactions. "Community is so so important- it's always been a part of my upbringing I think because of my culture... Getting to share those experiences! Bringing people together and sharing that same experience feels like a bonding moment! So unique and special. It deepens the connection and experience."
In Her Words
Discussing a particularly proud moment, Valeria recalls, "I collaborated with Shop Arq last summer and photographed 6 moms who were pregnant... The moms were all Latina/POC so it was extra special to work on a visual with a group of women who looked like me! One year later, we shot at the same location but with their babies on their hips and it was so beautiful."
Her hope for her work's impact is simple yet profound. "I just hope moms feel celebrated and beautiful! I want them to feel like they were the most authentic version of themselves but also pampered."
As for the increasing visibility of Hispanic artists, she feels, "I feel like it's about TIME!... Although I love seeing diversity being showcased, I would love it if more brands hired Latinos on their creative teams/workspaces."
Ending on a heartfelt note for Hispanic Heritage Month, Valeria expresses, "Keep sharing stories, building connections, asking questions to people who look different than you! Make efforts to understand their culture and be intentional, it means a lot! Celebrate with us!"
Valeria Metz's journey is a testament to the power of authenticity, heritage, and passion. Through her lens, we get a glimpse into the beautiful blend of Hispanic culture, motherhood, and art.
Click here to follow Valeria on Instagram and to see more of her work!