To my Caribbean origin—San Juan, PR,—I attribute the gift of an immediate rapport with things, animals, people. Puerto Rico’s exotica, rain forests, sunburnt air and clairvoyant moonlit aura crackle with psychic phenomena fostering second sight, apparent to my camera lens. These fugitive glimpses into the inner or occult nature of things often reveal the point, the moment, at which the imagined becomes the real, illustrating Marsilio Ficino’s observation.

A decade tending bar in Miami proved more revealing than any number of courses in psychology. Despite inexperience, I was tapped to do a photo shoot editorial for LB Diva Style Blog and recognized—after feints toward counseling, computer programming, and modeling (leading to adventures in New York, Belgium, and France)—my vocation. Photography encompasses my taste for vintage, fashion, the melancholic, and feminine beauty, often in surreal contexts. Elegantly dressed women, for instance, captured against the shards and shreds of the past have become a signature. Fashion? Accomplished, sophisticated practitioners of tattoo art opened a new dimension of discovery. Along the way, I learned the supreme importance of the eyes. I can see beauty in everyone and everything. Through my photography, I am able to express the beauty of the world as I see it.

Michelle Cuello is on Facebook and Instagram