Earned a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at School of Visual Arts in New York, where she also worked for Manolo Valdes photographing his monumental sculptures in NYC. She previously photographed the Making of the film "The honour of the wronged" by Carlos García-Alix. She is author of the book "Manolo Valdés. The New York Botanical Garden" edited by La Fabrica. This book won the First Prize for the Best Art Publication on 2014 by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain. Her work has been published by national and international media, including: El Pais, El Mundo, Yo Dona, Matador, Esquire, Forbes, IVAM Museum, SVA NY and Smithsonian Journeys amongst others.
All over the years she has given photo workshops to empower creativity in the arts field in a variety of schools. From a Spanish level at TAI (University Center of Arts), LENS and Too Many Flash, to an international one with Roberto Mata, Taller de Fotografía, in Venezuela and RMTF Miami, in the Azores.
Andrea has exhibited in Portugal, France, Italy, Venezuela, Mexico, the United States and her home country Spain. Her first solo exhibition "Around" about women boxers was at Marlborough Gallery in Madrid as part of the Festival PHotoESPAÑA’11. In 2012 she presented “Y cuando abrí los ojos ... ya estaban allí” at Galería Freites in Caracas, Venezuela and “Prelude”, at Mondo Galería in Madrid, Spain. In 2014 “Cartes de visite” was shown at Palau de la Música, in Valencia, Spain. Following “Nation rugby” in 2016 at the French Institute in Madrid. More recently, “Waniku. Where water rumbles”, was selected for The Mérignac Photographic Festival and “Isolado” was presented for the 50thAnniversary of Galería Antonio de Suñer (SEN) in Madrid.
Throughout her career, Andrea Santolaya has developed a personal and honest photographic language to portray the life of small communities where timelessness as a social bond stands out. Whether with the Mikhailovsky Ballet of Saint Petersburg, in Russia; the Warao ethnic group of the Orinoco river Delta, in Venezuela; the world of boxing in gyms in New York, United States; or with the centennial Biarritz Olympique rugby team, in France and a paradoxical community of Russian Old Believers, in Alaska. Her photographic work allows a dialogue with the viewer to show the intimacy of the places, the characters that inhabit it, the history and how society debates in its natural environment over time.