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Luisa Del Valle Wins Alpha Female Plus Grant For Transformative Self-Portrait Project

Luisa Del Valle has won an Alpha Female+ grant for a project around the concept of transformation. “I am photographing and recording the process of transforming five everyday objects into creative expressions,” she says. Throughout the month she will be sharing her process in BTS videos leading up to the final project unveiling on Alpha Universe. “I will play with the perceptions of the objects,” she explains. “I will explore them beyond reality, look for relationships between them and other everyday things, and, most importantly, customize the objects to match the theme of the atmosphere of the work.” Keep reading for more on Del Valle's project and join the Alpha Female+ Facebook group and follow us on Instagram @sonyalphafemale to be a part of the Alpha Female community.

See how this lawyer by training will transform everyday objects and inspire viewers to think differently and look with a child's eyes at the outwardly mundane.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote, “Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.” Del Valle’s Alpha Female+ project is very much in that spirit.

In her photography, Del Valle, who is originally from Venezuela and is a lawyer by profession, is inspired by things people constantly look at and underestimate. Ordinary objects like the day-to-day things we have in our closets, our kitchens, our workplaces, etc. Her goal is to inspire others to find interest in the outwardly mundane and ordinary. “I hope my project inspires people to find interest in the ordinary. I hope the project motivates people to see things differently and wonder about the things nobody else is wondering about. But most importantly, I hope my project encourages people to start creating with the time, space, things, and materials they have right now.”

Her photographic process is simple. After choosing the objects, Del Valle will choose a color palette consisting of no more than three solid colors. “The color wheel, Pinterest, and Pantone website are my favorite tools when picking my colors,” she says. Then after building a set using basic crafting materials like paper, cardboard, flat paint, and foam board, Del Valle will add a human element, herself, into the frame. That human element is key for establishing a connection for the viewer. After a series of experiments with poses and wardrobe, she’ll arrive at the final image.

Photographically, Del Valle plans to use her Sony Alpha 7 III and a 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens. “I love to work in the 40mm-50mm range,” she says. “I often shoot in manual mode, with an exposure time 1/60-sec, f/2.8-4, and ISO 100-400. Before shooting, I customize the white balance with the gray card, use the light meter to achieve the correct exposure, and set up the Sony remote app to activate the camera with my phone."

The 40-50mm range is sweet spot for Del Valle’s self-portrait work. “As a self-portrait photographer who usually shoots full-body portraits,” she explains, “a 40mm-50mm allows me to have my whole composition in the frame, and I can still be relatively close to my camera, with minimal distortion in the picture. I've tried going wider than 40mm, and the lens distortion is evident. That is why I stick with 40mm-50mm.”

Since emigrating to the US in 2016, Del Valle has reinvented herself and pursued her creative side. After years of trial and error she has found her style and passion for self- portraiture. Winning the Alpha Female+ grant gives her an opportunity to take her work to the next level and we’re eager to see the results.

To keep up with Del Valle and her project, follow along on Alpha Universe.

You can be a part of our Alpha Female community. Join our Facebook group HERE and follow us on Instagram HERE.

You can apply for an Alpha Female+ grant HERE along with all of the details of the Alpha Female+ program. You can see all the past grant winners and their projects HERE.


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