In Tagalog, “Kaya” roughly translates to “we can”—and you will be hard-pressed to find a photographer who embodies that word more than Caya Eusta.
Caya came across Clicke’s radar due to her growing reputation in the photography community as the visionary founder behind photography collective and production agency Caya Creatives. With membership spanning multiple cities and beautiful prints published in magazines around the world, we were shocked to discover that not only was Caya Creatives only founded in September 2019, but that Caya herself only started to pursue photography professionally a few months before founding her collective.
For someone so well-connected within the DC and NYC photography circles, Caya is surprisingly new to the art scene. Filipino by birth and a microbiologist by trade, Caya spent most of her life living and working in the Pacific region as a scientist. Traveling frequently to various conferences, Caya’s interest in photography began as a way for her “to decontaminate, my word for destress,” she sheepishly explained, “myself from the microbiology world.”
Caya’s transition from hobbyist to professional photographer was inspired by her experience working with the Filipino collective that photographed her wedding.
“It just felt like they were a bunch of friends doing the thing they love and having fun. I wanted to bring that kind of vibe and camaraderie into a team of my own,”
After her wedding, Caya began simultaneously
developing her own skills as a creative director and searching for potential collective members. She particularly enjoys discovering and mentoring other photographers breaking into the creative space. An excellent talent scout, Caya works with a variety of photographers—from photo assistants, to lead photographers, to fellow creative directors.
Providing full-service production services for fashion and event photography in DC and NYC, Caya Creatives pride themselves on creating “timely and timeless” photography in a respectful, energetic, and inclusive environment. While Caya still does some photography herself, she primarily focuses on creative direction, delegating the actual photography to whichever members of her collective she determines to be best suited for the shoot.
In addition to managing Caya Creatives, Caya also leveraged her photography skills to found and create content for the Love for Lab Pros Initiative, which advocates for lab professionals to receive the same pandemic pay and workers’ protections that doctors and nurses receive.
“In the news they keep talking about the importance of testing, but no one’s talking about who does it. It’s the hidden profession that saves lives. The most rewarding parts of what I do are saving lives as a medical microbiologist and bringing joy to people as a photographer,”
Between managing and mentoring the members of Caya Creatives, fulfilling her role as an essential worker, and advocating for her fellow lab technicians—all with humility, humor, and mission-informed ambition—Caya is the true embodiment of her name.
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