Born in Inglewood, CA in 1977, Cara was raised on the Chemehuevi Valley Indian reservation along the California shoreline of Havasu Lake in the heart of the Mojave Desert, and later, Houston, TX, and Santa Fe, NM.
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. Her work is featured year round at the Robert Nichol's Gallery of Santa Fe.
Cara lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is married to Cochiti potter Diego Romero.
Romero was influenced by the photography of Edward Curtis early in her career. Later, she felt that her initial approach was not genuine to her own experience and began to experiment with different techniques and settings for her photographs. She began to use digital tools, such as Photoshop, to combine her photographs and also to use more color photography. Romero's contemporary work includes a large amount of staging to create a sense of theater and expresses a diverse picture of Native American identities. The Santa Fe New Mexican describes her work as a "sometimes whimsical, often complex examination of modern culture with a distinctly modern Indigenous worldview."
The Bristol Post called her series, Water Memories, "breathtaking," and that it "exposes the fragile and essential relationships that exist between people, water and life." Water Memories was shown in 2016 at the exhibition, "STILL," held at the Rainmaker Gallery in Bristol. Romero's work, shown at "Captured" (2015) at the gallery contained both "intimate portraits and playful reconstructions of iconic masterworks." Rainmaker Gallery also hosted a "Pocohantas 2017" event featuring work by Romero.
In the 2017 show, "Broken Boxes," held at form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, Romero's photograph, TV Indians, was described by the Albuqurque as her "highest production project yet." The photo juxtaposes Puebloans with media depictions of Native Americans.
Cara has won the “Visions for the Future” award from the Native American Rights Fund in 2017, and several awards including ribbons at major art markets.
Romero has also been featured at the Four Winds Gallery in Pittsburgh, and the Robert Nichols Gallery in Santa Fe
- 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Class (Paintings, Drawings, Graphics and Photography), Best of Division (Photography), First Place (Digital Photography), Best of Division (Computer-generated Graphics), First Place (Digitally altered primary sources and printed)
- 2017 Institute of American Indian Arts Distinguished Alumni Award
- 2017 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market Judge's Award (Karen Kramer)
- 2016 Santa Fe Indian Market First Place (Digital Photography)
- 2016 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market First Place (Photography)
- 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market First Place (Digital Photography)
- 2015 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market First Place (Photography)
- 2014 Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Division (Photography), First Place (Black and white or continuous tone)
- 2014 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market Second Place (Photography)
- 2014 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market Judge's Award (Lenae Eller)
- 2013 Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Division (Photography), First Place (Digital Photography)
- 2012 Santa Fe Indian Market First Place (Digital Photography)
- 2007 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market Honorable Mention (Photography)
- 2006 Native American Rights Fund Visions for the Future Best in Show, Second Place