Tina Modotti showed an interest in photography from an early age. Her uncle Pietro Modotti ran a photography studio in Italy and later her father ran a similar studio in San Fransisco. After moving to Los Angeles with her boyfriend Robo Richey, Tina soon became friends with Edward Weston. Weston became a mentor and inspiration for Modotti’s development as a fine art photographer an by 1921 she was modeling for Weston and the two soon began an affair.
As her photography skills began to mature, Modotti’s work included lyrical images of peasants and workers and experiments with architectural interiors, flowers and urban landscapes. Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo notes 2 distinctions in Modotti’s work being both “romantic” and “revolutionary”. The romantic aspects of her work undoubtedly influenced by Weston and the revolutionary from her growing interest in politics.