Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

"A Brother on the Otherside" (West Los Angeles) A day after the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman, the man who fatally shot 17-year old Trayvon Martin, protesters blocked traffic on the eastbound 10 Freeway on July 14, 2013.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Raindrops," Central Avenue, South L.A. ,Nov. 29, 2014. Shot with iPhone 5.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Unarmed, And Gunned Down" - Aug. 30, 2014. Vershell Hall holds a picture of her son, Richard Ray Tyson, 20, who was fatally shot by an Inglewood police officer on May 9, 2007, while riding his bike. "My son had a bulge in his sweater when the police officer stopped him," she said. "They shot him while he was on his knees the autopsy reports."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Separate Realities" 9th and San Pedro streets, downtown L.A., Feb. 15, 2015. Shot with iPhone 6 Plus.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Untitled" South L.A., Juan Bell, aka "the gladiator," Shot with iPhone 5.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"When Broadway Sleeps," Broadway, downtown L.A., Dec. 28, 2014. Shot with iPhone 5.

"Untitled," West Los Angeles. A day after the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, who fatally shot 17-year old Trayvon Martin, protesters blocked traffic on the eastbound 10 Freeway on July 14, 2013.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"A Man of God," Crenshaw Boulevard. Los Angeles. A protester who marched a day after George Zimmerman, who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder, holds the New Testament on, July 14, 2013.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Untitled" Los Angeles. Hundreds of Pro- Palestinian protesters march along Wilshire Boulevard over Israel's military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip on July 20, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Baby Panther," Main Street, Downtown Los Angeles. Dion, a Black Panther, holds his baby girl during an anti-police brutality protest on Aug. 17, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Untitled," San Julian Street, downtown L.A., Nov. 23, 2013.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Waiting for My Son," Los Angeles International Airport, 2014. Shot with iPhone 5.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Untitled," Meyer Street, downtown L.A., December 2013. A homeless man who goes by the name of "Red" lives below the 1st Street Bridge in downtown L.A. Red has been diagnosed with high blood pressure and arthritis.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Shayla" 1st Street bridge, downtown L.A. Nov. 11, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"When Broadway Is Awake" Broadway, downtown L.A. Muhammad waits for people to give him change on Feb. 15, 2015.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Untitled" South Palo Cedro. Diamond Bar, Calif. Micheal Zavala, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter poses for a picture on February 2, 2015, after training. Shot with iPhone 5.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Slippers," 7th Street, downtown L.A., Nov. 23, 2013.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Roy," 7th Street and Grand Avenue, downtown L.A., Jan. 18. Shot with an iPhone 5.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Raindrops Pt. II," Central Avenue, South L.A., Nov. 29, 2014. Shot with an iPhone 5.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

"Jimmy," Ogden Street, Las Vegas. Jimmy, 54, a handicapped homeless man was hit by a car three years ago. He claims to have a crooked spine and dislocated hips. July 3, 2013.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pablo Unzueta

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A conversation with Pablo Unzueta

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A conversation with Pablo Unzueta

Born in  Van Nuys in 1994, Pablo Unzueta comes from a family of photographers based in Santiago, Chile. Unzueta has a passion for human connection and storytelling and began documentary photography at the age of 17. Since then, he has been documenting poverty, protests, wildfires, and landscape– along with portraiture.PedroMug400px He is studying photojournalism at Mt. San Antonio Community College.

His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Fullerton Observer News and he was interviewed by Time’s Lightbox. Additionally, he has won several JACC (Journalism Assn. of Community Colleges) awards. After he is finished with school, Unzueta aspires to be a freelance photographer, covering social conflicts around the globe.

He discusses photography with Barbara Davidson, Follow Barbara on Twitter:

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Q: How did you get into photography?

A: When I was 6 years old I accompanied my grandmother on some of her photo assignments (mostly wedding) around the Los Angeles area, including trips to the darkroom in Van Nuys. She was also a documentary photographer who covered numerous parts of Central America. I remember attending her gallery showings; as a little kid I saw the impact that the photographs had on people. But I never actually thought I would end up following a portion of my grandmother’s footsteps. I have to thank her for allowing me into her zone of photography. I guess I could say this was my first introduction to photography.  I began photographing people when I was still in high school. One of the first places that I ever documented at age 17 was skid row. That’s where I feel in love with the idea of telling people’s stories. I never went through any formal training; however, I’m currently studying photojournalism at Mt. San Antonio Community College.

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Q: Why do you gravitate toward photographing social issues?

A: I believe that photography, aside from music, is powerful enough to persuade an audience to become more aware of certain topics. Therefore, it influences perspective. I’m attracted to the gritty side of life and it needs to be illustrated.  I want to capture something gritty at a different angle than a normal person usually would see it. The purpose for my work is to make something unattractive appealing to the human eye. In achieving that, I want to inspire my viewers to look at the world differently. The world is like a canvas for me.

Q: Instagram is where you get to share your work with your large following – 67.4k to be exact. How has Instagram shaped the way you shoot and share your work?

A: Instagram has molded me into sharing work on a personal level that people can sometimes relate to or acknowledge. Since Instagram first began, I would publish photographs shot with my Sony Alpha. But now it has inspired me to use my iPhone more often than not. With Instagram, I’m not just taking an image, but I’m creating something artsy and valuable. I can post personal work and not worry about getting censored or denied. For example, some of my stories have been rejected by numerous publications. Now, I can just post them on Instagram and get recognition without the worry of rejection. Eventually, editors will discover my work on Instagram and that itself is a huge advantage.

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Q: How do you discover the situations and people you want to photograph?

A: Sometimes I carry bags of clothes and food in my trunk for the homeless. Other times, I simply introduce myself as an interested photographer. Most of the time I walk around poverty-stricken areas with the objective of finding an interesting person. It just depends. Sometimes my subjects and I just click. Other times I have to be careful how I approach people. The objective is not to intimidate them with this big piece of plastic strapped onto my shoulder. The approach is a simple handshake.

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Q: Why black and white?

A: I choose black and white because that’s how I see the world. I’m highly in tune with my vision. However, color works great during certain stories. I use Lightroom to process my photographs. I like to clarify and add contrast to every image– simple editing. I appreciate dramatic detail.

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Q: Who are some of the photographers that inspire you and why?

A: My first inspirations are Ruddy Roye and Benjamin Lowy. In my perspective, both men have led my generation with amazing examples of work, in terms of smartphone photography. A lot of young photographers shoot with their phones. Also, I’m inspired by Sebastião Salgado because of his advocacy for the environment.

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Q: You are only 20 – which is mind-blowing. What do you hope your work will achieve as you evolve both as a person and photographer?

A: I want to inspire my audience to see the world differently by supporting the cause of helping those in need. As a young photographer, I’m aspiring to become a published storyteller. I want to expand and move forward to different social matters around the world. Mentally, I have consciously evolved and I will continue to grow. I appreciate every opportunity I get with the people I photograph.

See more of Pablo Unzueta’s work here or follow his work on:

Instagram

Twitter

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barbara.davidson@latimes.com

twitter@photospice

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