As a photojournalist, I cover a range of social and humanitarian issues with the responsibility to always respect people who are open enough to share their story, as a guide, a bridge, and in some cases as a collaborator. I approach each issue with a lens of empathy and consideration in order engage and define a visual language that works toward a benefiting the people and a greater good. I believe that change can only happen if we have the openness to find change within ourselves. This drives me to spend the time with people, understand them, and give back.
Sebastián Hidalgo is an award-winning photojournalist and digital producer who uses photography to engage and explore many social and humanitarian issues affecting communities of color. He is also a educator and host of The Visual Desk—a bi-weekly editorial support group for concerned and engaged freelance visual journalists.
Hidalgo has covered a range of stories including the social effects of gentrification in Mexican-American communities, poverty in American suburbs, Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” pilot program, and discrimination in the criminal justice system. He approaches every story and person with a sense of delicacy and vulnerability that respects the subject's humanity. He believes in the power of growing in conjunction with the people who are in front of the camera, as a witness, a bridge and, in some cases, as a collaborator.
“If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough.” — Robert Capa, war photographer and co-founder of Magnum Photo Agency
Hidalgo was introduced to the importance of documentary photography on the day his grandfather passed in March 16, 2008. He remembers the day vividly, as the only grandchild in the room witnessing his passing. Hidalgo, then 12 years old, took a step back to adopt the role of observer to provide a service for his absent family members. The experience left a lasting impression—pathos in the form of visual narrative—which he takes into the field every day.
Hidalgo’s methodology has led to collaborations with publications such as Chicago Public Media-WBEZ as digital producer, and photojournalist with The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBCUniversal, Roads & Kingdoms, In These Times, The New Republic Magazine, Belt Magazine, The Chicago Reporter, City Bureau, The Better Government Association and more. His contributions have always provided strong photographs and often include original reporting.
Today, Hidalgo frequently moderates public discussions about gentrification and developing a photographic vocabulary in Photojournalism. As a member of DiversifyPhoto, he was named among 12 Emerging Photographers You Should Know by The New York Times.
He continues to freelance in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.
“A camera is a means of going out and discovering the world.” — Susan Meiselas
Permanent Collections at The National Museum of Mexican Fine Art.
Honors and Distinctions:
•2018 Peter Lisagor Award winner for Best of Photography.
•Considered by the New York Times as 12 Emerging You Should Know.
•Listed as 10 Latino photographers documenting underrepresented communities by Remezcla.
•EmergieCube and DiversifyPhoto exhibited photographer at Photoville in 2018.
•Featured in Politico’s ‘What Works’ series highlighting City Bureau.
•City Bureau Photojournalist Fellow
•Special feature at WTTW Chicago Tonight
•Participant at the New York Times Portfolio Review
•Nominated for PDN 30 Magazine Emerging Photographers.
• Finalist in Photojournalism at National Association of Hispanic Journalist Ñ Award.
•Second Place winner at the Illinois Newspaper Editorial Contest for Feature Photograph.
•Honorable Mention at the Illinois Student Press Association for Editorial Photography in 2016