Samwell Ortiz, an artist and photographer known best for his photographic portraits, studied Photography in New York before his career as a professional photographer took off. Ortiz was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico—a suburb outside of San Juan—where he was surrounded by tremendous natural beauty. However, shortly thereafter, he moved Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in Brooklyn, Ortiz’s many influences are evident in his work. Ortiz’s project, “Brooklyn’s Coney Island: Unbreakable Spirit” captures the Astroland amusement park shortly before the park closed. His choice in subject shows an intense appreciation for his roots in Brooklyn. Likewise, Ortiz’s interest was piqued in an attempt to maintain some of the significance of this local landmark.
His current project entails working with Mixed Martial Arts fighters (MMA). Ortiz—a fervent fan of MMA—hoped to depict these athletes in their element, raw and up-close. In doing so, he calls attention to the painstaking work that is entailed in MMA training. In the ring, fighters are characterized by unrestrained force and seemingly limitless brutality, but Ortiz’s work shows a different side. His photos capture these athletes in a far more reposed setting, but in some ways no less menacing.
photos via Samwell Ortiz