A Texas baby is proving you’re never too young to channel Selena Quintanilla.
At just 15 days old, Natalia modeled a bejeweled black beret and peacefully lay next to a felt white rose and red lipstick-stained microphone as part of a Selena-themed photo shoot by newborn photographer Sofi Guerra.
Guerra, 34, told HuffPost the photo came together after Natalia’s mother, Helen Gallegos, walked into her studio and immediately noticed the black beret prop. The hat was decorated with more than 200 Swarovski crystals the photographer hand-glued on herself.
“I’ve got hundreds of props in the room,” Guerra, who is also a full-time cop in Houston, said over the phone. “She said ‘Oh, my God, is that a Selena hat?’ and I said, ‘Yea.’ Then she told me that when she was younger Selena played at a family wedding. Her family were longtime fans.”
The Mexican-American photographer is also a big fan of the Tejano singer and says she often listens to her music when she’s editing her photos. Guerra even vividly recalls being on a school bus, listening to the radio, on the day Selena was killed.
“They broke the news on the Tejano station that we had on,” she said. “[The bus driver] pulled over and she started crying. I’ll never forget that day. I think I was 12 or 13 at the time when that happened. It was a pretty powerful moment.”
Despite the love many have for Selena, Guerra is surprised that her small tribute to the Tejano star has garnered so much attention.
“Never in a million years did I think it was going to get this popular,” Guerra said. “I didn’t think that would ever happen, not to me. I’m a girl who grew up on the other side of the track. Even the mom, we both didn’t expect it.”
Guerra hopes people see the picture as a reminder of Selena’s enduring legacy more than 22 years after her death.
“She was such an iconic person, she was such a forerunner, especially in the kind of industry she was in because she had to establish her own name,” Guerra said. “It’s kind of like the same thing for me because the photography world that I’m in right now is dominated by a certain group of people, and I just wanted to fit in and I could never fit in.”
“I just want for other people to continue remembering who she is,” she added. “The baby picture symbolizes that we’re still going to instill all the good qualities she had into our kids and let these little girls know you can do the same thing down the road.”