Sep 222019
 archive : 2019

A New Vision of the Indigenous Narrative

Five photographers from the Natives Photograph community will discuss their work, the importance of representation in the industry, and their process as Indigenous visual storytellers.

Presenters: Tailyr Irvine Josué Rivas Thomas Ryan RedCorn Brian Adams Cara Romero

Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse

Presented by:

  • Indigenous Photograph

Supported by:

  • PhotoWings
  • Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation

Photoville Talks at St. Ann’s Warehouse are produced by United Photo Industries and supported in part by PhotoWings and the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.

Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Tailyr Irvine (Confederated Salish & Kootenai), Brian Adams (Inupiaq), Ryan RedCorn (Osage), and Josué Rivas (Mexica & Otomi), are five Indigenous photographers working across Turtle Island (North America). For many of them, being an Indigenous documentarian means working to correct the ways in which their own communities have been portrayed, for as long as photography has existed.

Presenter Bios

  • Tailyr Irvine

    Tailyr Irvine

    Tailyr Irvine is a Salish and Kootenai photojournalist based in Montana and Florida. She was born and raised on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, where she noticed a lack of meaningful media coverage in her community.

    The prevalent Native American stereotypes in mainstream media led Tailyr to pursue a career in journalism. Tailyr is working on multiple projects in Indian Country, and she hopes to spend the rest of her career telling stories of Indigenous communities, featuring the complex and diverse Native experience.

    Tailyr graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in journalism. When she is not actively working on projects in Indian Country, Tailyr enjoys sports photography, and pursues other editorial projects unrelated to her race.

  • Josué Rivas

    Josué Rivas

    Josué Rivas (Mexica and Otomi) is a creative director, visual storyteller, and educator, working at the intersection of art, journalism, and social justice. His work aims to challenge the mainstream narrative about Indigenous peoples, build awareness about issues affecting Native communities across Turtle Island, and be a visual messenger for those in the shadows of our society.

    He is a 2020 CatchLight Leadership Fellow, Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow, founder of the Standing Strong Project, co-founder of Natives Photograph, and winner of the 2018 FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.

    His work has appeared in National GeographicThe GuardianThe New York Times, Apple, and Nike N7, amongst others. He is available for photo assignments, film projects, and exhibitions.

    Josué is based in Portland, Oregon.

  • Thomas Ryan RedCorn

    Thomas Ryan RedCorn

    Thomas Ryan RedCorn (Wakant’ia), was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma into a family of preachers, salesmen, and politicians which are all pretty much the same occupation. He is the ilonpa of Raymond and Elizabeth RedCorn, and the object of jealousy from his three younger brothers Jon, Alex, and Studebaker, who between them have three masters degrees and two Phd’s. Ryan, however, took 6 and half years to get an art degree in visual communications from the University of Kansas.

    To the surprise of many, Ryan has been able translate his education, his inlonpa entitlement, and his family lineage into something some people think is valuable. Sometimes people laugh at him and he’s ok with this. He recently woke one morning and realized he was married and had three daughters. He remarked, “I live a crazy life” and promptly enrolled in a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting program to test his capacity for stress. Ryan is a member of the Osage Nation and resides in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

  • Brian Adams

    Brian Adams

    Brian Adams (b.1985) is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska, specializing in environmental portraiture. His work has been featured in both national and international publications, and his work documenting Alaskan Native villages has been showcased in galleries across the United States and Europe.

    His first book of photography, I Am Alaskan, was published in October 2013 by University Of Alaska Press. His most recent book, I Am Inuit was published in December 2017 by Benteli. In 2018, Brian received fellowship grants from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation, to continue his work on documenting Inuit life in Alaska, and the circumpolar.

  • Cara Romero

    Cara Romero

    Born in Inglewood, California in 1977, photographer Cara Romero was raised on the Chemehuevi Valley Indian reservation along the Colorado River in the heart of the Mojave Desert. Cara’s work reflects her diverse training in film, digital, fine art, journalism, editorial portraiture, and commercial photography.

    She is known for modern, indigenous identity stories, her use of humor, social commentary, contemporary lighting and color, and her staged and theatrical compositions. She has won several awards including Best of Classification 2D, at Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) two years in a row, Native Arts and Culture Foundation Mentor Artist Fellow, multiple Heard Museum ribbons, and the Native American Rights Fund Visions for the Future Award.


  • Indigenous Photograph

    Indigenous Photograph

    Indigenous Photograph is a space to elevate the work of Indigenous visual journalists and bring balance to the way we tell stories about Indigenous people and spaces. Their mission is to support the media industry in hiring more Indigenous photographers to tell the stories of their communities, and to reflect on how we tell these stories.

    Indigenous Photograph’s global database is available to photo editors, creative directors, and those who routinely hire photographers. The electronic database of their members includes detailed information regarding geographical areas of expertise, languages spoken, and contact information.

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