Lorena was born in Maryland and raised in Florida, Minnesota and Massachusetts. Her first camera was a Diana camera she used in summer camp during 7th grade; it wasn't until when college she took a year off to work in temp jobs in Boston and learned how to use a 35mm SLR camera and an enlarger in the evenings after work. She used money from financial aid when she returned to school to buy her first camera, a Nikon 6006, but then sold it to pay for classes at the University of New Mexico. Her interest in photography has always been at the nexus of fine art, documentary, photojournalism and visual sociology. Lorena draws inspiration for her work from multiple cultural and academic spheres including graphic design, forensics, sociology, geography, economics, public history, communication, and anthropology. She believes strongly in the possibility of the still image to communicate and describe aspects of contemporary social and cultural experience, and moves fluidly between different tools (the large format camera, DSLR, and iPhone) and aesthetic languages to execute her work.
Lorena's work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues as wide ranging as The Photographers' Gallery in London, the United Nations headquarters in New York City, the Arc Light Theater in Hollywood and the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. Lorena's most recent photography book, "The Michael Jacksons" is an ethnographic look at the subculture of Michael Jackson representers along with portraits of performers living and working around the United States.
Lorena received an MFA in photography from the University of Oregon, studied sociology at The New School for Social Research, teaches photojournalism and documentary storytelling in the Communication department at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California and is the host of the podcast New Books in Photography on the New Books Network.
She resides in both Los Angeles and New York City.