Portraits at Whittier Cafe.


Whittier Cafe - A Place of Social Exchange

Vulnerability creates a new type of institution & process; a social service, an infrastructure that re-connects, re-prioritizes & re-imagines.  Vulnerability re-organizes the community using existing resources found within the community. Vulnerability is built based upon authenticity & sustainability.

In order to have true connection, resources must not be exclusive to themselves and completely connect to other resources. 

My name is Caleb Santiago Alvarado. I am an architect turned photographer & storyteller. To be able to tell someone’s story, is an opportunity to connect and create community with that other person.

We are all human. We all experience emotions, regardless of race, religion, sexual & socio-economic statuses. 

In my thesis year of architecture school, I studied a semester in Mexico City. In that amazing city, I realized that I was more interested in people, in storytelling, in how people connect with each other, rather than beautiful empty buildings lacking human connection. 

Since then I have used photography & cinematography to show human connection & the human condition. I want photographs that tell a story without saying a word. I create photographs that show beauty in everyone, moving past societal norms on beauty. 

With that said, how do people become beautiful? It is simple, by being connected. By showing love. By helping others. By listening to others. Beauty is created by putting aside societies manufactured ideologies of what community is and embracing each other when someone needs help. 

I am the founder of Think-Rad, which is a collective of artists, architects, anthropologists, photographers & cinematographers, and filmmakers that are looking to tell authentic stories of the existing. We believe that in order to tell a story, we must listen first and grow together with whoever’s story we are telling. This is our public demonstration.

In 2018 I started think-rad by setting up impromptu photo studios in public spaces. It gives me a chance to meet new people in Denver, connect, exchange ideas and take their portrait. I am using this mobile, photo studio as a place of social exchange, I am connecting and use vulnerability to grow and be part of the fabric that creates Denver. 

A city in reality is a collection of memories. Sometimes physical and sometimes not. Remember to connect, preserve not just the physical but also the things you cannot directly see. Do not tear up the existing to building your own collage of self agenda or just for your aesthetic pleasure. Remember that the existing holds our process, for we are all connected and together we create community and our cities for the future. Think-Rad was founded to embody those ideals, and I invite you to Think-Rad!