José A. Alvarado Jr. is a Puerto Rican photographer dedicated to documenting class inequality, civic engagement, and contemporary issues in Puerto Rico and New York City. He works primarily in long-form storytelling, using visual imagery as a bridge to help raise awareness of the struggles and hardships impacting individuals and communities immersed in positions where they feel trapped, violated, and unable to escape. Through his devotion to in-depth projects, his goal is to spread awareness, begin discussions between members of the communities affected and their audience, and to discover strategies to navigate these challenging elements in our societies.
In 2018, Alvarado Jr. began a long-form project embedding with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she navigated her historic run for office. Spanning from her humble beginnings as a waitress and herPrimary election victory, to becoming the USA's youngest woman ever elected into Congress, from her native district of NY-14; Adistrict home to a population of over 75% people of color and that had never elected a person of color to Congress before. In 2019, this story on Representative Ocasio-Cortez was published by Le Monde, M Le magazine du Monde. In 2018, his project documenting the physical damage to areas in his family's villages in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria, La Isla Del Encanto; Borikén, was published by The New York Times Lens.In 2019 his project, La Isla Del Encanto; Borikén, was included in a variety of exhibitions with For Freedoms' traveling show, "It Is A Miracle We Are Standing Here" and was selected for Magenta Flash Forward and American Photography 35. Alvarado Jr. is currently based in New York City, USA, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal. His work has appeared in The Intercept, Financial Times, Reuters, The Atlantic, TIME, The New Yorker, Courier International, Redux Pictures, New York Magazine, VICE, Vanity Fair, STERN, CNN, NBC, VOX, and CBS. In 2019, he was part of a team of The New York Times photographers for their story “65 block parties, 5 boroughs, 20 photographers: See what they found” that received various awards and nominations in 41st News-Doc Emmy Awards, POY77, and NPPA Best of Photojournalism. He is a member of Diversify Photo and Visura. He is available for reportage, portrait, or general news assignments domestically or internationally.