Debra Gloria– a photographer, a visual healer, an artist in every sense of the word– has always understood the originality of what she does. At a very young age, Debra felt a “calling,” and from the very beginning innately understood that photography was so much more than capturing a beautiful image. Through her art, Debra feels as though she can speak directly to the soul. She expresses the emotions one may experience, without using words.
After her first serious photography class in college, she had no doubt: Photography came to her naturally—like breathing. Soon thereafter, she was not only a student of photography, but also began mentoring other would-be photographers. She knew that photography was what she was meant to do, that capturing precious memoirs is invaluable.
In her career of over 30 years, Debra has done it all. Her background ranges from shooting for Fortune 500 companies, to on-location shoots all over the world, to charitable causes like Breast Cancer Can Stick It, a music-centric non-profit for breast cancer; and Arttitude, a non-profit that offers artistic platforms for LGBTQ+ artists and artists of color.
The strongest calling for Debra has been to her Visual Healing Photography work. This work is precious to her as it focuses on the self-worth that women, men, and those of all genders embody. The ability to photograph women and witness their healing and transformation in the process is the most meaningful gift Debra could give. In her own words, Debra talks about what visual healing is for herself and those she photographs.
“I’ve realized that when people feel low-spirited, a captivating portrait helps turn things around,” she says. “I’ll start capturing images of a woman, just like you and I, who can’t believe the person she sees on my computer screen is herself. I have total respect for my clients. I want them to reclaim and feel their self-worth. That’s what I call Visual Healing. My photography is artistic, sensual, tasteful, and authentic. When they come to my studio, I want them to be free and disconnect from their safe bubble. When they break free, magic happens; when clients let their guard down in front of my camera, they learn something new about themselves…Ironically, I discover something about myself too.”
As a queer Latina female artist, Debra Gloria brings diverse and powerful messages to the forefront. Her book Sensuality tells visual, moving stories of women: their struggles, their loss, their insecurities, their power and their triumphs. This book is a culmination of years of Debra’s artistry, and it is a vulnerable expression of not only herself, but the essence of women.
“I come as one, but stand for ten thousand.” Maya Angelou