Image by Manual Rivera-Ortiz
Manuel Rivera-Ortiz is a Puerto Rican born photographer (December 23rd 1968) who came with his father and siblings to the United States when he was still quite young. The family left their mother behind; and that left a mark on Manuel that seems evident in his photos (which very much remind one of family and close bonds.) Manuel was educated in the US and graduated from college and higher school with various honors that many native-born US children don’t even achieve (taking AP English being one of them.) He later went on to be a journalist for many years and wrote for newspapers; but then he caught the photography bug.
And as recently as 2001, he began travelling the world as a freelance documentary photographer–and has accumulated a body of work that is absolutely awe inspiring.
Manuel’s work is very much similar to the type of projects that Magnum Photographers tackle; it’s about documentary and approaching social issues in a fine art mentality. The problem is that many of the issues are often ignored by mainstream media–but need to be addressed in some way or form. Amongst those that he’s photographed are The Untouchable Caste of people in India: being Indian myself I’m quite aware of the hardships that these people go through; and their story isn’t told by many. But Manuel has tackled more as well and has travelled around the world touring places like Turkey, Bolivia, Cuba and more: quite literally living the dream of many aspiring photographers.
In 2010, he started the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography and Film–an organization that tries to promote the work of creatives that try to tackle many documentary-related issues but aren’t necessarily getting the mainstream momentum they may deserve.
Manuel now lives in Rochester, NY.
Here are more photos that Manuel has shot:
Information and Photos via Wikipedia, Manuel Rivera-Ortiz’s website, and the Manual Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography and Film