Don’t try to define Yesi Fortuna. She’s a working model, makeup artist, and, most important to her, a photographer. “It’s such a big part of my identity,” she says. “As soon as I picked up the camera, it was hard for me to put it down.”
Fortuna, an Ennis native who grew up dreaming of Dallas, found her earliest inspiration in the pages of fashion magazines, which helped her develop a sense of style when it came to her favorite creative endeavors: taking photos and dressing herself. “I like to think of my outfits as an equation,” she says. The day we met, she was wearing Lucky Brand black skinny jeans, a black tank top from Express, silver jewelry, and a bubble gum-pink coat from Zara. “One piece of color, one piece of shine, one piece of texture. Those are the kinds of outfits that make me feel the most confident.”
And while she’s a self-proclaimed shopping addict, Fortuna’s purchases are just as calculated as her style. “I’m not much of a splurge buyer, honestly,” she says. “I prefer to buy pieces that I can wear a lot or in many different ways.” Some of her favorite finds include ladylike dresses from Topshop and a vintage gold pendant necklace in the shape of a lion’s head that she found while working at Buffalo Exchange. She finds the style of her photography subjects equally inspiring. She has shot bloggers such as Amy Wells Havins (whose Dallas Wardrobe feed on Instagram has 37,000 followers) and actress Katie Cassidy (whose Tomboy KC has 22,000).
Whether she’s in front of the camera or behind it, taking pictures for her photography business, Sukilynn, she has found that confidence is key. “I really try to think about what I’m doing that day and what kind of message I want to send,” Fortuna says. “If I need a boost, I will wear my lion necklace. Other times, I don’t want to be bothered because I have a busy workday, and will wear muted colors. Either way, I try to dress like my authentic self every day.”