December 12th, 2012

Obituary: Photographer Chayo Mata, 50

© Chayo Mata. A self portrait.

© Chayo Mata. A self portrait.

Beauty and fashion photographer Chayo Mata, whose clients included All You, In Style, Lucky, Natori and Neiman Marcus, died November 27 in New York. She was 50. The cause of death was breast cancer, according to her longtime companion and business partner, Mauricio Soto.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Mata first learned photography from her father, whom she described as a “weekend photographer” of weddings and events. She studied at East Texas State University and, after working in Dallas, she moved to New York City where she assisted fashion photographer Steven Meisel. After she launched her own career, she shot both photos and film for editorial and advertising clients.

In an interview with Photoserve earlier this year, photo editor Mercedes Vizcaino of All You described Mata as “my go-to photographer for shooting interiors, usually in studios, around New York City.” Vizcaino said, “Not only does she produce great imagery, she brings a wealth of ideas on how to execute our productions to get the best results.”

First diagnosed with cancer in 2008, she devoted time and talent to helping groups that support breast cancer survivors, including Cook for Your Life and the Pink Daisy Project, in their fundraising. She frequently featured resources for breast cancer survivors on the blog she started, persephonesbeautyblog.com.