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The photography issue

With the decline of journalism, photographers have become some of the most vulnerable members of the newsroom. When a wave of layoffs comes crashing, they are usually the first to be let go. Photography staff is reduced to bare bones. Writers are given cameras, and visual storytelling suffers. A camera will make someone a photographer just as much as a pen will make them a writer.

At El Tecolote, we’ve always held visual expression in high regard, and we believe it shows in our pages. Ever since becoming Photo Editor in 2011, I’ve seen a constant overflow of amazing photography that does not fit into our pages, an increasing—and welcome—problem.

This is why we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on the amazing work produced by our volunteer photographers, devoting an issue entirely to their visual stories and projects.

We hope that as you go through these pages, you will understand why the work of photojournalists matters now more than ever, not simply as the decoration on a written article, but as a storytelling medium in its own right.

Amos Gregory’s photos of Syrian school children in Turkey, with hope beaming through their eyes, drives home a feeling that no verbal description can compete with.

The relief on the faces of refugees safely reaching land after crossing the Aegean Sea in search of a better life, as captured by Joel Angel Juárez, will tell you more than a written account ever could.

We believe that words have the power to expose the truth, but photographs make us feel that truth.

Photo Essay: Brave women, by Diana K. Arreola

Photo Essay: Gateway to Europe, by Joel Angel Juárez

Photo Essay: Mission Invasion, by Drago Rentería

Photo Essay: Police brutality, by Santiago Mejía

Photo Essay: The Butterflies of Syria, by Amos Gregory

For more photography by El Tecolote photographers, join us on March 12 for the 3rd Annual Photography Exhibit: Latin Life in the Bay on Saturday March 12 at 5 p.m. at the Juan R. Fuentes Gallery, 2958 24th Street, San Francisco. If you’d like to become a photographer for El Tecolote, email mabel@eltecolote.org

Story by: Mabel Jiménez