Ukeim Ortiz was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in July of 1983 and grew up in San Diego, CA. At the age of 14 Ukeim started taking trips to New Jersey to visit family. Having such a big family has allowed Ukeim the opportunity to travel and photograph different subjects.
Ukeim began taking photography seriously in 2001. Ukeim studied photography at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA, but decided to leave after a year and half.
Ukeim always knew that he liked to photograph people and loved journalism. However, his style wasn’t defined until he went to Puerto Rico in 2005 when his life as a photographer changed forever. On this trip Ukeim started his Journalistic Portraiture endeavors to document his roots. Little did Ukeim know this would be the beginning of him carving a niche for himself.
During the winter of 2010 Ukeim was invited to display his photos at House of Elements in Barrio Logan for a group art show. This event caused Ukeim’s entrance into the San Diego art community.
In 2011 Ukeim Ortiz met DJ Schugar of The Infusion Project at an art show in the HardRock Hotel. Since then Ukeim has become an integral part of The Infusion Project and has shown work at Stingaree and The Ivy Nightclub in San Diego. Ukeim now has a studio at Queen Bee’s Arts and Culture Center which has given him tremendous creative freedom.
“I always admired journalistic fotos from the early days of photography; Black and White gritty fotos that had feeling to them. I always wondered what the photographer was thinking when they took those kind of photos.”
I spend about 5% (percent) of my time photographing people and the other 95% (percent) studying them.