Inside of every portrait is a heartfelt story if you make the effort to uncover it.
Richard Keis is a social documentary photographer and writer who lives between Corvallis, Oregon and Oaxaca, Mexico. In the early 1970s he joined the United States Peace Corps and spent two years in Barbados, West Indies. It was there that he developed his interest in cultural diversity and discovered photography as a means to document his experiences and interactions with different cultures.
His interest in culture and languages motivated him to earn a doctorate in education from the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis on multicultural/bilingual education. He worked for more than fifteen years with migrant and Latino families in Independence, Oregon, promoting reading in Spanish and publishing stories written by the families themselves about their experiences of migrating and living in the United States. He has been involved in photographic and educational projects in Mexico since 1995.
His most recent projects include Livelihoods: portraits of artisans and workers in Oaxaca, Mexico, Muxes: a Dream that Never Dies: portraits of a third gender group in Juchitán, Mexico, Twenty Women: Portraits of Strength and Resilience, and Cuba: Dos Viajes.
His most recent exhibit, Somos Oaxaca, was at the Biblioteca Henestrosa, in Oaxaca, Mexico.
His book, We Are Oaxaca: Portraits of Life, Arts and Livelihoods is available through this website.