The Photographer Documenting Joy in the Undocumented Community
Narratively’s photo editor, Yunuen Bonaparte, on realizing her passion for photography, and channeling that passion into her inspiring new project.
The first photo Yunuen Bonaparte ever developed was of a palm tree in her home state of California. She was at the bottom of the tree, angling the camera upwards. “That’s a different perspective,” was the reaction of her photography professor. Yunuen says it was like magic, seeing her photo appear in the darkroom, realizing, “Oh my God, I did this, my hands are involved in this, I created this.”
From that palm tree to today, Yunuen’s photography has been published by The Washington Post, The Hechinger Report, The Guardian and more. She’s Narratively’s photo editor, and most recently, she’s the photographer behind “Documenting joy in the immigrant community in the borderlands,” an ambitious project that tells the stories of undocumented immigrants in California’s Coachella Valley. We sat down with Yunuen to talk about her new project, her own experience growing up undocumented, her family’s reaction to her work and her advice for aspiring photographers.
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