Paola Paredes (b.1986) is a photographer born and based in Quito, Ecuador. Blending traditional documentary photography with staged imagery, her work focuses on issues facing the LGBT community, exploring contemporary attitudes towards homosexuality in Ecuador. Putting herself at the forefront of her imagery, her work represents a personal and intimate challenge to social prejudices, and invites renewed discourse on the interactions between sexuality, family and personal freedom in contemporary society.
Paola received a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design in Quito before completing her first photography masters degree at Middlesex University. She has recently finished a second masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication.
Her first major photographic work ‘Unveiled’ was widely celebrated upon its publication, and has been extensively distributed online, receiving support from prominent publications including, Huffington Post, Feature Shoot, and Cosmopolitan.
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March 16, 2014
In a three-hour conversation, I told my parents “I’m gay.” Accompanied by my sisters, I documented the event in the experimental photography project “Unveiled.”
In the planning process, the reality of Unveiled both excited and unnerved me. At 28, the possibility of rejection by my conservative Catholic, Ecuadorian parents, was one of many potential risks. My parents needed to be comfortable. I wanted to document natural reactions.
I needed to desensitize them to cameras. Much preparation was in order.
So… I prepared.
I photographed them cooking, brushing their teeth, shaving, smoking, and watching soap operas. I photographed them walking, tying their shoes, waking up, working in the office. I photographed my mother doing her nails.
The preparation for the project, surprisingly, plays an integral role in the actual project: coming out to my family at a dinner table, with three cameras, each shooting every five seconds.
The finished product provides the viewer a series of images, each telling a different story of the family they portray, the way those members interact, and ultimately, a photographer Unveiled.