Media Monday: Jovelle Tamayo

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Jovelle Tamayo, an independent Seattle-based photojournalist. Her work has appeared in BuzzFeed News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and more. To view her visual portfolio, visit her website.

Jovelle Tamayo

  1. How did you find yourself as a photojournalist?
    I started photographing my friends and family at a young age with any camera I could get my hands on — disposable cameras, point-and-shoots, cell phones, you name it. I eventually joined the yearbook staff in high school and discovered my true passion for storytelling as an editor at my college newspaper.
  2. Which of your photos are you most proud of?
    Ansel Adams famously said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” While I’m proud of the photos I work hard to make by moving around to get the right frame or having the patience to build a relationship, the scenes captured in some of my favorite images unfolded before my lens like gifts.
  3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
    Working to be a better photojournalist also motivates me to be a better human being. I’m always learning about the world.
  4. What do you look for in a story or photograph?
    I look for surprising moments and ways to capture the magic of the everyday. I want to show stories that elevate the voices of communities that have been underrepresented, misrepresented or erased.
  5. What is your day like at your job?
    I don’t have a routine. I might be on assignment, responding to emails or editing photos. If I have extra time, I’ll research story ideas, practice a new skill or wander my neighborhood with my camera.
  6. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
    I admire community journalists who are committed to telling stories in their own backyards and documentarians who completely devote themselves to a particular issue.
  7. What is your favorite news outlet?
    The New York Times
  8. What is your guilty pleasure?
    Borrowing too many books at the library.
  9. Fill in the blank:
    1. If I am not photographing, I am… planning the next adventure with my partner Ramon or chilling in a hammock at Golden Gardens.
    2. If I could photograph anyone, it would be… Michelle Obama.
    3. My favorite thing about Seattle is… how beautiful it is when the sun and the mountains are out.