Diversity, body positivity, and inclusivity are all big buzzwords nowadays, but for photographer and director Grace Rivera, these concepts are all part of who she has always been—as well as being uncommonly savvy. After completing her BFA at RISD, Rivera decided to learn the business side of photography and got herself an internship at Wieden + Kennedy in Portland. When she wasn’t soaking up insights from the agency’s producers, she was photographing her fellow interns, a diverse group of young people, each with their own unique story to share. The internship turned into a job, during which time Rivera developed a photographic style inspired by the truth-telling of artists like Lauren Greenfield and Tierney Gearon but with a fashion- and beauty-centric twist. Her work is bold and graphic, and her subjects radiate personality and a relaxed, nothing-to-prove confidence—qualities that lend an honesty to her ad campaigns (for clients like Adidas, Allbirds, Procter & Gamble, and Airbnb) and an immediacy to her editorial commissions (The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Vogue Mexico and The Hollywood Reporter, among others). Now based in Brooklyn, where she has a fully equipped photo studio, Rivera is developing her ongoing series on womanhood, from sisterhood and heartbreak to self-love. “I want to make images that contradict everything that girls have been told about how they’re supposed to behave,” she says. 

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