documentary photography

The Photo Week: Witnessing Tiny Miracles in Ecuador

Have you ever had a moment or an experience that shaped your life? Or were you ever surrounded by the worst circumstances that you didn’t know what to do next?

The first time I traveled to Ecuador I was fifteen years old and my mother, who is a Ecuadorian native, took me to see the neighborhood where she grew up. I remember how I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera at the time because I knew that my experience the first trip was special and could never be revisited. The thought kept ringing in my mind that one day I will go back and this time I’ll be prepared. So when William and I decided to travel to Ecuador this year – I was overjoyed!

We didn’t go to a fancy hotel with room service and a private quick access to the beach unlike most tourists on vacation. Instead we traveled along the coast roaming from town to town in a huge jeep engaging with the locals. Through this experience, we came across something incredible and frightening…

We arrived during the last few weeks of March which in Ecuador is the rain season. While traveling from village to village we were completely surrounded by flooded streets and debris. The rain became so hazardous that during our stay, we saw houses completely destroyed and families picking up the pieces of what remained of their home.

documentary photography in ecuador

It was heartbreaking to see families standing on the side of the road waiting for the water to subside. I looked at my husband and said that I could not imagine the devastation they must be feeling. But regardless of the natural disaster, there wasn’t a single frown in sight. In fact the people in these small villages viewed this as an every day occurrence, almost numb to the event and continued working. They possess a strength and unity that I haven’t seen in a very long time and for that, I was able to see the tiny miracles during my trip to Ecuador and how the human spirit can endure more then we think.

(Click on the image below to see the series Milagro)

documentary photography in ecuador

Although this will definitely not be my last trip to South America, I will always keep the memories of Ecuador and the strength of it’s people in my heart. Let me know what defining moment made your change your images on life! Leave a comment below!

Til next time,

kimberly patino

The Photo Week: How To Find Your Signature Style

The one crucial piece of advice that I received when I was starting out was this: “Find Your Signature.” Well that’s easier said then done.

As you know, every photographer is different. We all have a different style, aesthetic and vision on how we see an image. Even Continue reading “The Photo Week: How To Find Your Signature Style”

The Photo Week: Are you a SMART artist or a FAKE artist?

The path of an artist has developed a stereotype for years that the working artist is a “starving artist”.

But what defines a starving artist?

A starving artist is someone who gives up the daily 9 to 5 grind and commits solely to their art. It’s an artist who goes on a whim to Continue reading “The Photo Week: Are you a SMART artist or a FAKE artist?”

The Photo Week: How To Not Face Your Fear, But Follow It!

So last weekend I actually did something that scared the crap out of me…

One of my awesome roller derby friends saw me taking photos of a game. She was getting married and asked me if I could help with the wedding. Naturally I assumed that I would be photographing Continue reading “The Photo Week: How To Not Face Your Fear, But Follow It!”

The Photo Week: Why Your Photography Isn’t Going Anywhere (& How To Fix It!)

Do me a favor: go online and make a list of your favorite photographers. Seriously, go online and look up some photographers that when you see their work you say WOW! If you don’t know where to start, google “famous photographers”.

I can go through a list of amazing artists: Sally Mann, Zack Arias, Ansel Adams, Mary Ellen Mark, Anne Leibowitz, Richard Avedon, Continue reading “The Photo Week: Why Your Photography Isn’t Going Anywhere (& How To Fix It!)”

How To Turn Your Hobby Into Career

Has anyone ever told you that being an artist or a photographer is nothing but a hobby…not a career?

This has always been a struggle for my when I was growing up. My father would call my love for art and photography a “hobbie” and that it’ll pass – how I needed to focus on something more stable like a desk job. And for a while I did sit behind a desk and

Continue reading “How To Turn Your Hobby Into Career”

What A Female Artist Goes Through (& What Male Artists Don’t!)

Has anyone ever told you that you are “suppose” to be at a certain point in your life?

Here is an example: When you’re dating someone for a long period of time, the questions that’s asked is “When are you getting married?”. When you graduate college: “When are you getting a job?”. When you get your first drivers license: “When are you getting a car?” Continue reading “What A Female Artist Goes Through (& What Male Artists Don’t!)”

The Photo Week: Here’s How Photography Can Actually Ruin You!

Have you ever been so focused on your artform that once you are done with it…..you realize you are all alone?

One of my favorite photographers I go to for inspiration is Zack Arias. He is a commercial and music photographer and has really resonated with me when I was let go of my job. While watching one of his lectures on Creative Live about photography and family – it hit me. Continue reading “The Photo Week: Here’s How Photography Can Actually Ruin You!”

Stuck In The Present? Here’s How You Can Live Your Dream Now!

Have you ever just wanted to have a fresh new start and to begin again as a new you?

I’ve felt that way in my life for years! To just one day pack up my things, leave everything behind and start a fresh life as the person I want to become instead of what others want me to be. Sometimes it is the easiest decision for people to make, and for others it takes courage just to take the first step. Continue reading “Stuck In The Present? Here’s How You Can Live Your Dream Now!”