Traditionally a Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, Pilsen is in the process of gentrification. The images in this series are portraits of the people I connected with while exploring the neighborhood. These individuals, small business owners and families represent a community in transition.
I’m moved by the plight of communities facing gentrification like Pilsen. It’s hard enough for people to make rent for their homes and small businesses and I wonder what will happen to them when they are forced out of their neighborhood. As luxury condos and cafe’s replace hidden gems like barber shops and amazing Mexican food joints, the personality of Pilsen is forever changed. Through photography, I wanted to capture this moment in Chicago’s history before it’s gone forever.
What I love about photography is the human connection. Before making their portrait, I connect with my subjects on a individual level. With some loose direction if any, I prefer to get as close as possible to the subject which I feel captures their honest emotions while allowing space for self-expression.
Community, self-expression and diversity are the foundation of my photographic work.