The cover of Issue 2 of Álula Magazine came from a portrait series of the Zapotec photographer, Luvia Lazo. The series accompanied an interview conducted by Marina Azahua for this edition. It was a collaboration where Luvia’s vision—with her beautiful dresses, traditional hairstyle, and flower necklaces—resulted in a gorgeous and authentic photoshoot that became our second cover.
It was the first time we met, yet Luvia welcomed me into her life as if we were already great friends. Perhaps it was the spontaneity of our encounter or our shared interests, or maybe it was simply because that day was all about taking photos together.
We met at Proyecto 110 studio in downtown Oaxaca, where she was styled with Teotitlecan braids in turquoise and pink, along with natural makeup. Once ready, we headed to the cafe-bakery Boulenc for some chai and pastries and then made our way to her hometown, Teotitlán Del Valle.
Before our meeting, Luvia and I had chatted about the photo shoot. We brainstormed ideas for possible locations, eventually choosing downtown Teotitlán del Valle as our set. She also mentioned how much she enjoys nature and her wish to incorporate it into the photos. It was her idea to include the flower leis.
The journey between downtown Oaxaca and Teotitlán allowed us to chat and get to know each other better. I learned about her life, her work, and her perspective not only as a photographer but also as an Oaxacan woman, Zapotec, and creative individual. Luvia has a fiery, lovely, gentle personality; she is warm and intriguing.
Upon arriving in Teotitlán, we stopped by her house for outfit changes, accessories, and the necklaces she wanted to wear in the photos. Some beautiful garlands of mayflower were already waiting for her; lush, fresh, and, to her surprise, handmade by her father.
In her room, we picked different outfits: a traditional white huipil from Oaxaca, a yellow dress gifted by someone close, another gray cotton dress from Minimalia, and a dark rebozo with a sky blue dress from Carla Fernández, paired with open-toed sandals. The jewelry to complement each outfit was exquisite, silver and gold filigree earrings, along with her favorite bracelets. It was crucial for me to portray Luvia just as she wanted to be pictured. Beyond what I, as an editor, could suggest, I was interested in her essence, her creativity, and her own personal expression. Once all the outfit changes were selected, we headed to downtown Teotitlán.
We started at the Preciosa Sangre de Cristo Church, then moved to the square in front of the Municipal Building, the Community Cultural Center, and finally to the 20 de Noviembre and Constitución Market; each corner was a possible stage, and the photo shoot turned into a fun day of collaborative creation.
There was an instant synergy between us. We laughed and enjoyed the process. As she told me, “Usually, I’m the one behind the lens; being in front of it now feels different.” However, as if modeling was her profession, she posed naturally and gracefully.
It was precisely one of the first photos we took in one of the church courtyards, with the white huipil, her gaze on the horizon, and the flower leis, that immediately made me think: this could be a great cover. Although I must confess that I loved many photos from this series, choosing which ones to publish was tough.
This second edition excites me, especially because it has allowed us to share the stories of incredible people who, through their work, bring life to these places and allow us to experience them through their eyes. It’s like traveling through their creativity. Among all these stories, and perhaps one of the ones I’ve enjoyed the most, is Luvia’s.
I keep that day as a beautiful memory and a friendship that arose from the creative process of taking photos for Álula Magazine’s cover and the happiness from that trip to Oaxaca. Behind that image, there’s a story of spontaneous encounters, celebratory flowers, and shared laughter.