International Liberation Photographer Pocho-1 was born into a family of innovation, tremendous work ethic, and self determination. Migrating from Oxnard to Santa Rosa, California as a child, his parents were union organizers for the United Farm Workers, and also organized the first all Latino fishery and factory workers' union. He grew up feeling disgruntled about his circumstances of poverty and personal trauma. These feelings, along with a worsening identity crises [due to his mixed racial heritage] helped cause him to join a street gang in an attempt to empower him with unity and camaraderie. Pocho-1 soon developed a deeper love for humanity and realized that gang culture was a harsh contradiction to the progression and the uplifting of his community he began to desire.
Pocho-1 was smothered by self hatred acts, and societal racism. Sexual exploitation, drug abuse, violence, and division plagued his environment for many years of his youth; however he couldn’t escape positive change. With the help from his family, he began to transform himself into a viable upstanding man of his community. He began fighting for the interests of his community while furthering his education at Cal State Northridge. Studying under Rudy Acuna, founder of the first Xican@ studies department, he elevated his focus graduating with honors in Xican@ Studies and History. Moving back to the Bay Area, he attended San Francisco State University earning a Masters in Ethnic Studies. He is presently pursuing his 2nd Masters thesis at the University of Southern California, has a radio show called "The Pocho Live Show", professional photographer and serves youth and families working for the city of Santa Rosa office of Community Engagement.
Pocho-1 Photography was founded in Los Angeles , and has established its signature style with its profound impact at first sight. His photography is more than an Image, it’s a political stance. His contribution has strengthened his integrity as an unwavering activist who uses his photography as a weapon. He integrates his knowledge of photography and digital manipulation to radiate colors which express emotion, passion, and resistance. His captures are not only historical documents, they have profound wordless testimony. He continues to fight with the movement for social justice, changing stereotypes, and rejecting injustice. You can catch Pocho-1 shooting and donating at community events. Walking and talking like a Cholo, Pocho-1 is the bridge that unites the gap for the youth. The intention behind his lens is liberation, providing a paradigm shift to many viewers. Now, after much perseverance he continues to make his mother cry, but not in terror like before. She cries tears of happiness. As she has paved the way in history for him, he continues the family legacy with honor.