In late 2018, local photojournalist Sebastián Hidalgo took on a Washington Post assignment to document the story of Isaac Flores, a 11 year-old from Honduras who was separated from his mother at the border in January 2018. Disturbed by other national media’s emphasis on the wall, Hidalgo chose to focus on Flores’ day to day life as a child to rehumanize the conversation on immigration. Hidalgo frames this approach as an antidote to the “if it bleeds it leads” philosophy in photojournalism.
What is “shock value” photojournalism and how can photographers pursue a different path? That’s what Hidalgo will be sharing at this week’s Public Newsroom. We’ll learn about other photographers taking a similar approach, how to work with editors and how Hidalgo co-created a support group for Chicago-based photographers, The Visual Desk. Together we’ll develop frameworks that photographers can follow.