Laetitia “Laeti” Adam-Rabel is an artist of Haitian origin who lives in Miami, Florida. She left her native Haiti in turmoil at the age of 12, then a traumatized girl. Since her arrival to the States, she has been finding her voice through the arts, including painting, textile arts, photography, illustration, fashion design, videography, sound art, and other media. In the midst of her journey to discovering herself, she lost her closest grandparent, which led to unexpected emotional difficulties and added to many issues with which she grapples in her work, such as being black, being a black woman, integration, and social acceptance into American culture.

On a trip to Brazil, a friend was inspired to photograph Laeti in a fashion shoot. Laeti took the roll of film to a photo lab back in Miami to be developed. Upon receiving the prints, she was disappointed by the poor job the technician had done; having taken photography classes herself in college, she could tell the photos were all underdeveloped, with little distinction between herself and the background. When she complained, the technician responded that maybe she should consider that the problem was not his technique, but rather the problem was the subject. Laeti was appalled by that comment. She knew he was wrong, but she had nonetheless suffered a blow to her self-esteem. So she responded by picking up her own camera and dedicating herself to fighting existing stereotypes about beauty. She turned the camera on herself and started a series of self-portraits. Since then, she has continued to use her photography to challenge the conventional ideals of beauty, and to express the ethnic diversity she sees in herself, and to empathize with others who do not meet the narrow standards of the mainstream beauty industry. In her work, she seeks to portray beauty, while conveying her sometimes painful emotions.

You can view Laetitia’s work here:

Instagram – @Laeti.Artist

Facebook –  @Laeti.Artist

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