About, Sebastián Hidalgo


In March of 2008--a time were Sebastián's family was coping with the death of a beloved grandfather, Carlos Salinas, documentary photography presented it's importance to the then twelve-year-old. Witnessing his grandfather's death in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, the feeling of having the responsibility to share the experienced with his absent family members; Sebastián picked up his uncle's DSLR and began to document the challenges facing his family. As a result of his experience in Mexico, he felt comfortable with holding a camera and began to study photography early in his academic career. 

Born in the Chicago's southwest side neighborhood of Pilsen, Sebastián began to explore his Mexican-American community. Learning how light behaved in every park, street corner, and invited-apartment unit, he learned to capture light and emotion projected on every subject. Realizing that a photograph can provide much more than a scene on paper, in 2009, he decided to study anthropology in an effort to find deeper meaning behind each captured moment documented. 


During his High School years in a suburb of Chicago, Sebastián was presented with a different life, a contrast from circumstances that shrouded Pilsen, and an introduction to Journalism.

Sebastián doesn't consider himself a self-taught Photojournalist, in contrast, he believe he learned the trait through trial-and-error, mentors, and self-curated gallery shows. Looking at his skill in photography, he realized felt as if there was something missing from all his studies in Anthropology and Photography--A marriage of photography and journalism.

In 2014, he began to explore the possibility of that marriage and began to freelance for publication such as Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review, Wednesday Journal, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, and other suburban publications, in hopes to exorcize that possibility. Learning as he went along, Sebastián focused on community oriented journalism with the knowledge of the countless hours in his Anthropological study. 

As he stressed to become better at his craft, in 2016, he internship with The Chicago Reporter, focusing of social justice in under-represented communities in Chicago and was charge with the duty to visually provide emotion of each assignment. 

Sebastián was been honored for his work in Photojournalism throughout the years, gathering a collections of awards and national attention: 

  • Illinois Newspaper Editorial Contest - Illinois Press Association - Second Place for Feature Photograph. 2016
  • Illinois Student Press Association - Honorable Mention for News Photography. 2016
  • Northeastern University - First Place Prize for Community College Junior Exhibition. 2017
  • National Association of Hispanic Journalist Ñ Award-Finalist . 2017. Photojournalism.

Sebastián has been featured and freelances for The Stranger, Chicago Magazine, In These Times, The Chicago Reporter, The Village Free Press, Chicago Defender, and South Side Weekly. Now, in 2017, he has been selected to be City Bureau's Fall Cycle Photojournalist Fellow, which he currently is apart of and is working on a project in his own community.  With years of trauma exploring his community, Sebastián embarked on examining forms of indirect displacement and violence that challenge families. 

--Sebastián Hidalgo is available for freelance assignments and mentorship lectures for aspiring Visual Journalist throughout the mid-west. Please email Sebastián under 'Info' -- 'Contact'. 

Thank You,