ROSENBERG, Texas - Two-week-old Natalia may be the youngest and most adorable Selena fan in our area. She earned the title after a photo of her dressed as the Queen of Tejano went viral.
Photographer Sofi Guerra, of Sofi Guerra Photography, is the creative genius behind the photo. "A lot of companies mail me props for my photography business, but props like the one we used in the photo are not available anywhere," Guerra said. "I wanted to establish my name as a Mexican-American photographer and put my own signature on my work. I also wanted people to appreciate who Selena is and incorporate it into my work."
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Guerra made the hat and hand glued over 200 Swarovski crystal beads on the brim. Guerra's prop vendor, Off My Hooks, created the felt white rose and microphone with a red lipstick stain which is something Selena was known to accidentally do to her microphones during concerts.
Once Guerra had all the props, she knew she needed the right baby to capture the essence of Selena and bring the photo to life. She found that baby when Helen Gallegos came to her studio with little Natalia. "She walked in, saw the Selena items with my other props and said, 'Oh, my God. Are those Selena props?' I told her, yes and she was thrilled," Guerra said.
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It turns out Gallegos is a huge Selena fan and had even seen Tejano star live when she was a child. "Helen told me she was a flower girl in a wedding where Selena y Los Dinos performed before they were big stars. When she said that, I knew Natalia would be perfect," said Guerra.
When the photo shoot was over, Guerra knew it was unlike any shoot she had done in the past. "Something just told me this was going to be different, something told me a lot of people are going to like this picture," said Guerra.
She said the response has been overwhelmingly positive. "I wanted to cry because it reminded me of how special Selena was to so many people," said Guerra.
However, Guerra had no idea Selena's family would see the photo and love it too. Selena's sister Suzette Quintanilla shared the photo on her Facebook page with a simple caption, "Love this," followed by a series of purple hearts.
Guerra said she is truly humbled by the experience, especially since photography is her part-time job. She spends most of her days protecting the citizens of Fort Bend County as a sheriff's deputy. "Photography is really my escape," Guerra said. "In one world, I'm carrying a rifle and in another world I am holding a Canon and taking pictures of babies."
Guerra said news outlets have been calling her non stop and the photos have already inspired her next newborn photo shoot, which will feature all of Selena's iconic looks. "Selena's legacy will always live on," Guerra said.