“I’m trying to teach and also learn.”
— Renée Lopez
Renée Lopez is among Portland’s newest creative entrepreneurs. The 33-year-old Yakima, Washington, native is the founder of Miss Lopez Media, which focuses on portraiture, videography, events, and the ongoing documentation of her life. After steadily building her clientele, Lopez transitioned from her previous employment in the fall of 2016, making the jump to full-time with her business.
As Lopez tells it, social justice and community are central to her development as an artist. Lopez focuses her lens on Portland through documentation of Portland’s hip hop community, Portland activism, and Portland women of color. “A big part of my life is activism, documenting the Black Lives Matter movement,” she says.
One of her long-form passion projects focuses on portraits of women of color in Portland. She spends time talking with women from diverse cultural backgrounds in Portland about their experiences and then uses those conversations in the content and composition of her work.
As for Portland’s hip hop community, Lopez has found her own way to have impact. She shoots live music events around the city, contributing to the culture through her imagery. In the process, she has carved out space as a woman photographer in what is often a male-dominated arena. This February she’ll host a three-part exhibit, showcasing the three major aspects of her documentary work in Portland and inviting the different communities represented in her work to witness. As she develops her knowledge, the exchange of information is paramount to her process. “I’m trying to teach and also learn,” she says.