Ryan Christopher Jones is a Mexican-American photojournalist originally from Central California, currently living in New York City. His maternal grandparents are from Mexico and his paternal grandparents are from the midwest; this multicultural heritage primed his curiosity in what it means “to be an American.” Much of Ryan’s work explores the complex relationship between Mexican and American identities, and how those issues manifest in the cultural and political relationships between the two countries.
Ryan is a regular contributor to The New York Times, and he has recently covered the American opioid crisis, border separations and family reunifications, the U.S./Mexico border, the 2018 midterm elections, and many other stories of domestic conflict across the United States. He is a fierce advocate of compassionate photojournalism and he has written about this theme in two recent essays for The New York Times, “How Photography Exploits the Vulnerable” and “The Deja Vu of Mass Shootings.” Since the summer of 2017 Ryan has worked with Jonah Markowitz on a longterm documentary project that examines the geographical roots of American division. He is also working on a longterm project that looks at social mobility for Latino workers in Central California’s tech industry.
Two photos from his 2017 opioid coverage were selected for American Photography 34, and his project on Latino tech workers was a shortlisted finalist for the 2018 Catchlight Fellowship.
In 2018 he was the only photojournalist selected for the Russell Sage Foundation’s “Social Science Institute for Journalists,” which guided journalists and investigative reporters how to incorporate social science research methods into their journalism.
Teaching and education has been an important part of Ryan’s life for over fifteen years; before entering journalism he worked professionally as a music instructor and corporate trainer. He has led photography workshops in four countries, and has given guest lectures at the International Center of Photography, the London College of Communication, King’s College, and Fresno State University.
In 2019 he will be a guest speaker at Harvard University, the NPPA Northern Short Course, and a keynote speaker for the Storyteller’s Conference in Miami, Florida. Ryan studied Philosophy and English at Fresno State University and he is currently a student of American history through the Extension School at Harvard University.
Ryan is a member of the National Institute of Hispanic Journalists and his existing editorial clients include the New York Times, CNN, ProPublica, The Intercept, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Washington Post, New York Magazine/The Cut, KyodoNews, and Der Spiegel, among others.
Ryan has been a member of American Reportage since 2019.