Interview: Photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani

July 20, 2019
Photo Credit: Xyza Cruz Bacani

Xyza Cruz Bacani is a young photographer who is known for capturing immigrant stories through pictures. She has been the recipient of many awards and has been recognized around the world for her work in street and documentary photography. Through her work, she has helped to raise awareness of lesser-known human stories like those of domestic workers in Hong Kong.

We asked Bacani to share some words of wisdom about photography. Here’s what she had to say:

-What do you look for when you want to tell a story through photos?

Most of my personal works are about the beauty of being human. I’m very curious about things I do not understand. Most times in trying to find the beauty of humanity, I discover the ugly traits we possess. I’m very curious about identity, representation, and the DNA of trauma.

-What advice would you give to kids who want to be photojournalists?

Find your voice and when you do, use that voice to tell stories of people. Be a witness and platform for others. It’s important for you to listen to your own instinct, and find mentors who will help you hone your skills and will support your growth.

-Who are you the biggest fan of and why?

I’m a huge fan of Susan Meiselas. She is an amazing mentor, teacher, and human being. Her works speak so much to me and everyone.

-Which of your photos is your favorite?

I have tons of favorites but the photos of my family are on top of the list. I do not have baby pictures so I take a lot of photos of my nieces and I treasure those images the most.

-What is the one thing you think every visitor to Hong Kong should do?

Eat like a local. The food culture of HK is one culinary experience you should not miss. It’s also a walking city so bring good shoes!