Mathew Miranda (’22) Named Jim Marshall Fellow in Photography

October 19, 2021

Photo: Qinghui Kong (’22)

Mathew Miranda (‘22) has been selected as the recipient of the sixth Jim Marshall Fellowship in photojournalism.

The $10,000 fellowship, created in 2015, is named for renowned photographer Jim Marshall. Funding was provided by former reporter and legendary ad-man Jeff Goodby.

Miranda, the child of Salvadoran immigrants, is a proud community college graduate and Los Angeles native. He didn’t discover photography until after he earned an associate degree in journalism from Moorpark College and later a bachelor degree in journalism and kinesiology at California State University, Chico.

“As a child raised by Spanish-speaking parents who immigrated to this country, photography came across as a skill that wasn’t meant for me,” Miranda said. “Cameras and their high cost always seemed out of the ordinary for someone of my background.”

That changed two years ago, when he began working as the reporter for a small-town newspaper in Chico, California, that didn’t staff a photographer on the weekends. He shot hundreds of images that accompanied his stories. “Photography became my favorite part of the job.”

The Castlemont High School Football Team chants during practice on April 15, 2021. Photo: Mathew Miranda

Since then, Miranda has been shooting across Northern California and recently completed a photo essay on an impoverished East Oakland high school football team and its head coach, whose job goes beyond teaching the sport. Miranda appreciates the intimacy and trust he built in that project and hopes to continue capturing the experiences of marginalized groups.

“Through my photography, I hope to contribute to America’s view of minorities and communities of color, which can help cultivate a better environment for those struggling,” Miranda said.

“The committee was very impressed with the spontaneity and artistry in Mathew’s work,” said Ken Light, the Reva and David Logan Professor of Photojournalism. “For someone relatively new to it, he has a natural eye and the personality to approach and engage with his subjects.”

Miranda, who aspires to be a reporter at his hometown Los Angeles Times, hopes photography can remain a part of his work. He also plans to focus a significant portion of his graduate studies on the craft by pursuing personal projects. Through photography, Miranda said, he has discovered the power in telling stories that are both informative and artistic.

Ed Washington, Castlemont High School football coach and social worker, leads the team huddle during their game on April 17, 2021. Photo: Mathew Miranda

“I love photojournalism because of its ability to better preserve moments and create a space to illustrate the true essence of a person,” Miranda said.

Upon hearing the news that he received the fellowship, Miranda was in shock and grateful to those at the School who have helped refine his photography.

“I couldn’t stop smiling the whole day and immediately called my mom,” Miranda said. “This was such a huge accomplishment and honor for my family and me.”

 

 

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