Joel Angel Juárez is a documentary photographer born and raised in the coastal city of Oxnard, California to parents who migrated from México to the United States at a young age. His mother became a social worker and his father became a high school Spanish teacher and varsity soccer coach. His parents both created lasting impacts in their community and turned lives around with their mentorship—a legacy that has contributed in shaping Juárez’s approach to visual storytelling.
Joel has spent most of his time working on projects surrounding immigration policy, the environment, healthcare, the criminal justice system and issues concerning America’s military veterans.
He has interned at the San Francisco Examiner and the Las Vegas Review-Journal in addition to working as a contract photographer for Anadolu Agency and ZUMA Press among others. He has also volunteered several years at El Tecolote, a bilingual English/Spanish community newspaper based in San Francisco’s historically Latino neighborhood of the Mission District—it is also the longest running bilingual newspaper printed in both languages in California.
In 2018, Joel was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Fran Ortiz Photojournalism Grant from San Francisco State University’s Department of Journalism to support his ongoing, long-term project, “Discharged and Deported: Exiled Veterans of America,” documenting the deportation of United States military veterans. The project also received awards from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program.
In addition to the deported veteran project, Juárez has also covered the refugee crisis in Greece, immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border, California’s deadly wildfires, the tragic events and aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting and the Dakota Access Pipeline protest movement for which he was awarded silver in the 72nd College Photographer of the Year’s domestic picture story category in 2017.
His work has appeared in publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, BuzzFeed News, The Intercept and The GroundTruth Project.
Joel graduated from San Francisco State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Photojournalism and a Minor in International Relations.
He is currently based in the Greater Los Angeles region and the U.S.-Mexico border in California.
Joel became an associate member of American Reportage in 2019.