Cara is one of the rising stars among American Indian photographers. She is the daughter of Redondo Beach high school sweethearts, a Chemehuevi father whose family was relocated from the Nevada deserts in the 1940s and a German-Irish mother. Born in Inglewood, CA in 1977, Cara was raised in her earliest years on the Chemehuevi Valley Indian reservation along the California shoreline of Havasu Lake in the heart of the Mojave Desert. In the 1980’s her parents divorced and she moved from the Reservation to Houston, Texas.
Seemingly the only Indian in Houston, Cara left the University of Houston with a degree in Cultural Anthropology with which she wanted to build upon and develop her documentary photography skills. Fate would have her end up at the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1999 where she obtained a degree in studio photography. The medium was quickly changing from film to digital and her dream of mastering the art took many more years than she bargained for.
Cara followed her first husband, an Oklahoma Indian painter from IAIA, back to his farm in Bristow, Oklahoma in 2003. She continued to study both film and digital mediums of photography and obtained a degree in Commercial Photography from Oklahoma State University. She had her first son, Noel McCoy in 2006.
Cara’s work reflects her diverse training in film, digital, fine art, journalism, editorial portraiture and commercial photography. She shows at both the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Indian Art Market. She has won several awards including ribbons at both major markets and the “Visions for the Future “ award from the Native American Rights Fund.
Cara lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is married to Cochiti potter Diego Romero. This year they added a son to their family named Paris. Cara celebrates her family and she is a dedicated wife and mother.