About, Sebastián Hidalgo
Documentary Photography presented it’s important on the day Sebastián’s grandfather passed in March of 2008. He remembers the day vividly because he found himself to be the only grandchild in the room. Denying himself a tear, Sebastián took a step back to adopt the role of observer and provide a service for his absent family members. The experience left a lasting impression to the than twelve-year-old which he take into the field every day. His photography expresses the emotions of the moment while giving documentary proof of a current quality of life.
Born and raised in Chicago’s Southwest side neighborhood of Pilsen—just a few train stops from downtown—Sebastian began to explore his Mexican-American neighborhood early in his career. Trusted with a 35mm on a Minolta XG-M, he observed how light behaved in every park, street corner, homes and emotions projected on every subject. Throughout the years, the camera became an extension of Sebastián’s life; And offered alternative mediums and fields in which he devoted himself to learn. In 2014, he began to freelance for publications such as Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review, Wednesday Journal, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, and other hyper-local publications. Sebastián was honored a Second Place for Feature Photograph by Illinois Press Association and nominated for National Association of Hispanic Journalist Ñ Award as a Finalist for the work in the Austin community and violence in Chicago’s south and west side financially-deprived neighborhoods
In 2016, after interning at The Chicago Reporter, Sebastián embarked on his independent project that focuses on the impacts of indirect displacement—cultural and social displacement— and how behaviors in inner-city communities are affected by contributing factors such as gentrification and gun violence. Through his work, Sebastián specialized his work ethic to focus in inner-city communities, photographing and interviewing through a long-term, visual medium project.
In 2017, he was selected to be City Bureau’s Fall Photojournalist Fellow. Through this experience, Sebastián adopted their community-driven journalism practices, team building and mentoring philosophies while freelancing for publications such as The Stranger, Chicago Magazine, In These Times, The Chicago Reporter, Chicago Reader, The Village Free Press, Chicago Defender, and South Side Weekly. And was featured in The New York Times - Lens, New York Times’s Race/Related Instagram account, Roads & Kingdoms, Youth Radio, and BESE media for his Pilsen project in 2018.
Today, Sebastián continues to freelance throughout the city. Earlier in 2018, he was selected as Sixty Inches from Center/Illinois Humanities's Photographer-in-Resident at Envisioning Justice, and Digital Producer at WBEZ 91.5-Chicago Public Media.
Sebastián is available for assignments in Chicago and the Mid-West.