Hey Guys long time no see! So last week was the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan. An event that see's hundreds of Puerto Rican Americans from across the city and tri-state area. Growing up I was always questioned about my ethnic background, many people asking if I was Irish or German, to which I would respond with "my name is José". I'd also get the old, "are you mixed?" question because I didn't have a complexion that many associated with being from Puerto Rico. All were very innocent questions, which never angered or upset me, but I still found it interesting to see that many people of Puerto Rican backgrounds differ in appearance in extreme ways. As I look back at my own family here in the states and back in the island I noticed the diversity. My younger siblings and myself all differed in appearances. Some of us had pin straight hair and a darker complexion, while others where very fair with very tight curly hair. My cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents have their own share of differing features. Some have blonde hair and blue eyes, red hair with brown, green eyes with brown hair. Others have very light complexion, and others with very dark complexion. The islands history is very old with many European nations traveling through it. This all became apparent to me when I attended this year's PR Day Parade in my later 20's - a time when I could fully take in the event as an adult and appreciate it.
For the event, I began documenting the parade as a whole. I photographed the floats, the singers, old tv personalities and celebrities. This all was great, but I've taken these photos before and many other photographers have as well. With the power of my cell phone, I realized this area of documenting events can be done much simpler and easier without lugging around a DSLR.
Since I did lug my DSLR to the event I decided to make better use of my time, on the day that Puerto Rican's ironically voted for statehood back on the island, and create a portrait study that illustrates the diversity of Puerto Ricans in New York City. Below are the portraits I have taken.
I will be traveling to Puerto Rico at the end of the month and will hopefully come back with some interesting stories. Have a great one!