The Photographer Interviews: Xochi Perez

What drew you to photography?

As an anthropologist, I enjoy observing the beauty of human differences. Photography is an outlet for me to document the diversity in cultures expressed in architecture, natural environments, and the material objects surrounding me. I love film photography because it allows me to capture the soul of a place or a person as well as construct a physical copy of the intangible.


What’s your favorite image you’ve captured?

This is my favorite film photo to date. I feel as though the image encompasses San Diego’s vibrant culture in its bright hues and tones. I shot it in 2020 towards the end of summer when I had recently moved back from the Bay Area. It’s especially meaningful to me because I felt deeply connected to my hometown in ways I had never felt before.


What subject draws you to take a photo of it?

I’m particularly drawn to warm lighting and vibrant color contrasts in natural settings. I also navigate towards people or neighborhoods with a nostalgic aesthetic.


Can you share some tips on how you shoot your images?

I integrate mindfulness in my photography process through intention and patience. Photographers can get carried away with rushing a shot and miss the full experience of being present with the environment and the very act of shooting film. When photographers are fully aware, the shot resembles a piece of you, a piece of your consciousness at the moment. So, the next time you are taking photos, try to look through the viewfinder a little longer than your regular few seconds before quickly hitting that shutter button.

As for technical tips, try to experiment with shooting landscapes at different times of the day to find your style whether it be a misty sunrise or golden sunset. And always explore new approaches to photography outside of your comfort zone, it’s the only way you’ll grow as a person and a creative.


Are there any projects you are especially proud of?

I am actively designing a zine with a group of other women to uplift female and queer gendered photographers within the film photography community. Our hope is to cultivate a creative space for those who have been historically underrepresented in the film world.

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