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2018 You Were Great
josé a. alvarado jr.
Dec 31, 2018
Location: New York City
What a year this has been! Two-thousand-eighteen you have been an adventure, to say the least. It was a year that started quite slowly but ended in the highest of highs. I have to say I never imagined having such opportunities of meeting so many incredible visions, mentors, and dedicated figures in their craft. This year I completed my first long-form essay documenting a 27-year-old man's daily life living with Remitting Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis in the Bronx. Andrew Sroka and the Village Voice took a chance on me and gave me my first real assignments and provided some sincere guidance and feedback along the way. One of the first self-assigned stories I made, documenting a Puerto Rican barber in my neighborhood of Ridgewood, Queens, finally found a home in the local Bushwick Daily. In April I attended the NYTimes Portfolio Review, where I had the privilege to speak with many great editors and photographers, even including some of my personal heroes. I garnered some of the most honest, sincere, and crucial feedback that helped shape the way I look at current and future projects. Summer of two-thousand-eighteen brought into fruition a major step in a self-assigned project, that I had started back in June of last year when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her NY-14 primary election against incumbent Joseph Crowley. With the help and consideration of Elizabeth Renstrom and Sarah Burke, the project has a home in VICE/Broadly. This summer I also met Adriana Letorney, whose guidance, constructive feedback, and honesty has expanded my mind and photography to the next level. I was filled with joy and pride when I saw great friends produce some of the most powerful work I've seen, and had them shown at Photoville. Two-thousand-eighteen brought more trips to my homeland of Puerto Rico to help loved ones with life after Hurricane Maria and to document their lives and perseverance. These photographs would find a home in the NY Times, a publication I had only dreamed about being published in, alongside the powerful words of David Gonzales. Thank you, James Estrin, for the valuable constructive feedback and help over the past two years. Two-thousand-eighteen led me on a trip to the land of fire and ice with loved ones, marveling at the beauties of Iceland's glaciers, black sand beaches, and Aurealis Borealis. Lastly, I want to thank my family, friends, and mentors for all the guidance and support, and the invaluable photo editors I've met for taking a chance on me and my work.

Bring on 2019.

- José

JOSÉ A. ALVARADO JR.

José A. Alvarado Jr. is a visual storyteller devoted to documenting cultural and social issues, as well as human interest stories in the US and Puerto Rico.
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