We had the good fortune of connecting with Bella Bond and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bella, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve always loved art and photography, but I mostly admired it from afar. I never had extra money, let alone for a camera so I just never got into photography. It wasn’t until I lived in Bangkok, while studying abroad, that I found so many used camera stores and saw an opportunity to buy supplies, that I couldn’t afford in the States. Many of my first photos were taken around my neighborhood, on the back of motortaxis, and showcased my travels in South East Asia on my point and shoot film camera. When I got back to the States, photography didn’t seem as fun, I felt real depressed until I started actively documenting my life, and my loved ones. I wanted to pursue photography more professionally once I realized I could capture the world around me, my way, and with all of my love. I wanted to take photos of folks, specifically marginalized folks, and capture the beauty in them that I see. Accessibility is still an issue when it comes to pursuing film photography as a career, but I’m learning and finding ways to make it work for me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think in the scope of photography, there’s probably not a lot that sets me apart from other film photographers, there’s so many incredibly talented artists who know how to shoot film. What sets me apart is behind the camera, I am an openly queer, fat, non-binary artist who advocates for my communities. I shoot photos that highlight fat, queer, trans, and other marginalized communities because so often we are fed white, cis-hetero documentation and I have no interest in that. I want my communities to be uplifted and I want marginalized folks to see themselves as beautiful as I see them, and I hope that I can capture that. I got into photography professionally through word of mouth, from my community here in the East Bay. Folks who I uplifted, lifted me up and spoke my name when opportunities were arising. It’s not easy being an artist in a capitalist society, especially when my love lies with film. My biggest setbacks continue to be money related, and I overcome that by being thrifty and learning how to do things by myself, that and hustling! I continue to learn the importance of pouring into your communities because they will pour into you.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My top spots in Denver are: Grandma’s House, City O’ City (for their chicken and waffles and seitan wings!), and Ti Cafe!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I will always dedicate my success to my loved ones. My friends and family have supported every strange and chaotic decision I’ve made in the last five years. Not only are they my biggest fans, they’re also my models and my inspiration while photographing my life. I have learned so much documenting my life, but it was only possible through the work of my loved ones sitting through yet, another portrait, again and again. Also, shoutout to Youtube for free, accessible education.

Website: verdebeanz.com

Instagram: verdebeanz

Image Credits
First photo of Bella Bond: Taken by Zee Ruiz <3, the rest taken by Bella Bond!

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.