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Life & Work with Ahlyia Rios-Lopez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ahlyia Rios-Lopez.

Hi Ahlyia, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As a local San Fernando Valley kid, I grew up playing sports all of my life never really thinking about the arts unless I was in art class. Fortunately and unfortunately, I had a traumatic injury in 2016 that motivated me to expand my perspective and set sights outside of sports. One day in high school, I picked up a camera and instantly fell in love with film and photography. As part of this newfound passion, I decided to apply for the high school yearbook committee and was ironically denied. That moment of being rejected motivated me beyond belief and propelled me to aspire for more than being accepted or a part of a high school yearbook committee.

Shortly after, I applied to film school and was accepted. The experience there has been incredible and has been something greater never feeling like a chore, but rather pure enjoyment. While in school, I’ve had the grand opportunity to launch my own business, Purpose Media, and have been fortunate enough to b-line it into the music and film industry. Today, I continue as a student at Columbia College Hollywood where I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Cinematography while also having had the opportunity to work with incredible talents such as Justin Bieber, Billie Eillish, Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B and more.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it has definitely been a rocky road due to the obstacles that have come my way. Schooling was a challenge as I struggled with bullying, self-doubt, and never feeling that I fit in as a girl. I also experienced learning challenges which caused me to worry about how my life and career would pan out. Being a young Mexican American female Cinematographer/Director in the entertainment industry has been difficult as it is a male-dominated community. My journey as a professional has been a bumpy one where I have felt taken advantage of, not seen, or been considered too young. At the same time, I have also been surrounded by some amazing supporters and mentors who have brought me opportunities that have shaped my career choices and supported me with the launch of my company, Purpose Media. My incredible mom has helped instill confidence in me by being a strong female role model who continuously reminds me that all will be okay. From day one, she has poured her confidence in me and conditioned me to believe in myself. My mother has been my prayer warrior, as I call her, and has been my rock behind all of my dreams while encouraging me to be the best version of myself. All in all, I find confidence in what I achieve especially when I receive positive feedback and praise about my work and creativity. The biggest blessing is knowing the source of my talents comes from God and having the opportunity to recognize the gifts he has given me.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a cinematographer and (content or video) director specializing in various types of visual content for the music and entertainment industry. I capture special moments behind the scenes and storytelling those moments for a multitude of clients and brands. I am most proud of the series I published about mental health in 2021 because it helped me bring awareness to a global issue troubling many during the pandemic while being able to support those close to me. That project taught me to be open about my own mental health and support my family and friends with a loving heart. Being a young Latina female has enabled me to break barriers and provide a different perspective at such a young age to A-list artists. My path as a cinematographer has allowed me to live out my first-generation immigrant grandfather, Zocimo’s dream, to make a positive impact and difference. His hard work decades ago in the fields of California has allowed me to stand in my shoes today. My mom carried on his passion and dedication with a life I can honor through my hard work and accomplishments. I am beyond proud to be living out my dreams through what I do and what I create. My motto is to “create art with purpose”. I encourage everyone aspiring for their dreams to never stop because of an obstacle that they may face. God has a purpose for what one aspires to be, follow your dreams.

What does success mean to you?
I define success by reaching your goals and pursuing your purpose in life. One of my biggest goals in life was working with Justin Bieber – which came true! I set the goal to work with Justin when I was 16-years-old as I greatly looked up to his personal videographer and photographer, Rory Kramer. As the universe would have it, a few years later at the age of 20, I had the opportunity to not only meet and work with Rory but I ended up working with Justin Bieber TWICE. My purpose in life is to film, capture special moments, and be a light beam in this industry., I have been gifted an amazing talent from GOD and I thank him everyday for each opportunity he gives me. I eventually would like to utilize my talent to document missionaries and help them share what the work they are doing in an effort to help educate and inspire others to help mankind.

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Personal Photo of Ahlyia taken by: Christian “Anson” Cheok IG: christianansonca My Photo Taken of my work please credit Credit my work photos as Photographer: Ahlyia Rios-Lopez with Purpose Media IG: ahlyia.rios IG: _purposemedia Photo of me directing ice-cream truck scene photographer: Erin Borja w/ Purpose Media Photo Taylor Felt and myself on set photographer: Erica Rios-Lopez w/ Purpose Media

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