Filmmaker and photographer Andrew Arias tells stories about his community that are personal and profound.
“Growing up, I saw things that were amazing to me—stuff that other people don’t see,” Arias says. A photography class in high school sparked his love of photography and filmmaking, and he has since used his craft to document stories of everyday life in his hometown of Los Angeles.
In celebration of Scholastic Journalism Week (February 17–23), we’re featuring Arias and a small sample of his work, including excerpts from his photo collection and his award-winning 360° video, “Slum Visions,” which was screened at the United Nations in September 2018 as part of MY World 360°.
For Arias, an aspiring journalist, the use of new media in journalism has the potential to open people’s eyes and help them see the world in new ways, ultimately catalyzing positive change.
“It’s not for them to change. It’s for them to see what’s going on and for them to make the change. I want to be a journalist and show stories that don’t get shown. It’s about pushing things out for people to see and then for people to make the changes,” Arias says.
Arias shares photos with behind-the-scenes insight from his burgeoning portfolio of work below:
This photo was captured during an event called Dia De Los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) at Hollywood Cemetery. These were a bunch of Aztec dancers and I was lucky enough to have friends who were dancing and I got invited to shoot, so I captured this photo because the shadows really got to me.”
This and the following photo are part of a series of photos that I shot with a group of spiritual dancers in Friendship Park in San Diego at the border of Mexico. What they wanted to do was to recreate dancing of how they were feeling with spiritual vibes—to connect with their ancestors by dancing and being free and that park and doing what they do, and I captured the whole thing.”
“While [at Friendship Park] we were being harassed by border patrol saying that they couldn’t dance and I couldn’t photograph. We just talked to them and explained what we were doing and eventually they left us alone and let us do what we wanted to do.”
This photograph is about a cruise show that Wilmington and San Pedro have every other month or so. This one was in San Pedro where I was just walking along the street admiring their cars and I just wanted to photograph the people at the taco truck with the Impala in the front and another Impala coming along.”
Arias captures the detailing of the cars in a cruise show.
Arias says that he wants to make a career out of telling true stories by becoming a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Following his participation in MY World 360°, he looks forward to an internship with a photographer at a major media outlet in Los Angeles.