ambermAmber Montalvo is a junior at the High School for Media and Communications in Washington Heights.

Amber’s love for photography began at age 13. When she began shooting from her cell phone, she felt she should expand her skills by learning how to work with a DSLR. Which is what lead her to join NYU Tisch Future Imagemakers Program.

Her work is based on her versatility due to her shift from suburban to urban settings throughout her childhood. While wanting to clearly convey her messages, she also invites the viewer to draw on their own experiences and openly interpret the work.

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In my series I explore the theme of preserving innocence. Growing up, I fell into the glamour and makeup as major parts of my identity quite young. As I got older, I realized this had become a common part of many young women’s lives as well.  Even school, where the focus should not be on our image, has become a place where we are self-absorbed and self-cautious about our image and appearance. Since this has become so common in my generation, many girls are put into a “bubble” of an ideal image, that they always feel the need to live up to. This misleads us into thinking that our physical image is the most important aspect of who we are and that it defines our worth. My series depicts how seemingly innocent games like “dress-up” can grow into troublesome patterns for young women and girls as they get older.

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