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Photographer Rafael Rios turned the lens on his family in new book published by Baque Creative Press
With his family as his first muse and inspiration, the book is a coming-of-age story of sorts that spans over the course of eight years and features a progression of Rios not only exploring his talent but also developing it.

NEW YORK, NY.- In the wake of America’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which led to the separation of numerous Latino immigrant families Brooklyn-bred, Puerto Rican photographer Rafael Rios’s impressive debut photo book, entitled Family, comes at an important time in culture.

Family is an intimate glimpse into Rios’s Nuyorican upbringing and is a time capsule that candidly captures the early 2000’s era, human connection, traditions, and Puerto Rican heritage.

Rios is known for his photography work with The New York Times, Supreme, Nike, Timberland, GQ Style, and Paper Magazine among others is releasing the book with Baque Creative Press.

Baque Creative Press sets out to provide a platform for underrepresented creators. Founder Angelo Baque shares, "Rafael Rios has been a long time friend and I felt like it was my duty to honor this friendship by putting this body of work into the world. This book is an ode to the Latin American family and the Nuyorican and embodies an experience that both Rafael and I hold very dear. The photos in Rafael's book encapsulate the documentation that I wish I could have done for my own family."

With his family as his first muse and inspiration, the book is a coming-of-age story of sorts that spans over the course of eight years and features a progression of Rios not only exploring his talent but also developing it.

The images derive from 1999 when Rafael was 16 years old and first picked up the Minolta XG-M camera his mother bought for him from a Flatbush pawnshop then leading up to 2006 when he was a 23 years old college student fully committed to his future craft.

Influenced by the work of famed French humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and American photographer Tina Barney, best known for her portraits of her family and friends, the book is a collection of 91 captivating color images across 117 pages that include portraits of cousins, great aunts, uncles, Brooklyn beach days, BBQs and even hospital visits.

Rios weaves together a poignant story of emotional bonds and family unity that unfolds through every image. The photos capture the beauty of a hard-working, multi-generational, blue-collar, immigrant family that happily shared a Fort Greene brownstone.

“By the end of the book I want readers to feel like family, like they’ve just looked through a photo album of their own,” said Rios. “I want them to see themselves and their families in mine. I want this book to convey that there is beauty in everyday life, places, and spaces and sometimes the simplest moments captured between family not only end up being the most important but also shape who we become.”

Photographer and artist Rafael Rios was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A single child and second-generation Puerto Rican, he began shooting on a Minolta 35mm camera purchased from a local pawnshop at the age of 14. His talent was fostered while attending boarding school in Poughkeepsie, New York. Rafael spent his teenage weekends traveling home by Metro North train, to stay connected with his Fort Greene neighborhood and to document his family on film. Rios earned a BA in Visuals Arts from Hunter and afterwards working as an assistant for some of the industry’s top photographers while honing his craft. Across his work, whether personal or commissioned, Rios is known for a sensitive attention to character and environment that manifests in modern imagery with a candid elegance. His clients include The New York Times, Supreme, Nike, Timberland, GQ, Beat, Stussy and i-D.

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