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Martin Luther King Day
Focusing on photography becomes a labor of love
Focusing on photography becomes a labor of love

Some people travel through life on straight, clearly marked paths. Rafael Cardenas has zigged and zagged. Born in Mexico and raised in East L.A., he has tried his hand at many kinds of labor in the course of his 43 years. In the summertime, as a boy, he worked in the fields, pulling onions. Later on, he was a bouncer and a paralegal. He built websites. He did electrical wiring. It was just to earn money, never what grabbed him. So Cardenas found creative outlets. He acted. He rapped. He filled notebooks with portraits of strangers, stories, random thoughts, haiku. At the end of 2009, he left a job managing a security crew and vowed to never again, day in, day out, work for...

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