World Bank Exhibition

I am excited to announce that my work on albinism in Tanzania, “Tribe of Ghosts,” is going to be exhibited at the World Bank as part of a panel discussion on ending the killing of people with albinism in East Africa and beyond.

Tribe of Ghosts

I still think I’m dreaming. The work will be shown in the World Bank’s atrium space starting with an opening on June 23rd, which will feature a performance by Malian singer Salif Keita, who has albinism. The panel will be June 24th at 8am. The partnership with the World Bank means that the work has the potential to later be shown in Tanzania and throughout Africa, which has always been a dream of mine. Thank you to Asante Mariamu for their help from the beginning, to my husband for being such a supporter of my personal work, to AP Images for distributing the project, and to Coburn Dukehart who first published the portrait series with NPR. Much love to Angel, who is pictured in this portrait, who passed away from skin cancer last year. I hope this exhibition will help improve the lives of the many people who are persecuted for this condition throughout Africa.

Updated Site

After long hiatus I’ve updated my portfolio site, but in the doing the old blog link was disabled.

To view older posts begin by clicking here. You can use the left and right arrows at the bottom of the posts to scroll, or use the Archive button at right to navigate by month.

U.S. Secret Service

Photo essay that I worked on throughout 2014 taking a look at the Secret Service:

The U.S. Secret Service, the agency that protects the life of President Barack Obama, has been rocked by recent scandals. Despite the agency’s troubles the men and women who serve as agents continue to put themselves in harms way, committed to taking a bullet if need be, for the safety of the president of the United States. After a series of embarrassing security incidents, and the resignation of the former director, the beleaguered agency if left to rebuild it’s tarnished name.

Interview with Career Contessa

Thanks to the website Career Contessa for featuring me in a Q/A about my career in photojournalism, I hope the interview helps answer some questions that I get often from students about the state of photojournalism today and the way that I work. Main points to bring home are passion, dedication, and perseverance.


Thanks as well to portrait photographer Anna Kerns for making me look good, it is certainly odd to be on the other side of the camera.

“Unaccompanied Minors” Child Immigrants Traveling through Mexico to US

Train to El Norte

Rudy Gonzales Lopez, who says he is 14, from Huixtla, Mexico, right, looks for the oncoming engine while waiting to hop the freight train north to the United States. He is heading there by himself hoping to work. He hasn’t told his family that he’s going. A half an hour before, migration picked up at least five people and he ran to evade them. Migrants from all over Central America waited in the shadows of the town of Arriaga, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico on Thursday June 29, 2006 while waiting to hop the freight trains that run north. Poor migrants who don’t have money to hire a coyote will often ride the train where they face dangers ranging from theft and rape to mutilation or death if they fall from the train. (Photo Copyright Jacquelyn Martin)

Much is in the news this week about the increasing number of minor children from Central America traveling unaccompanied to the U.S.  due to increasing levels of violence and poverty in their home countries, and a perception that children will be treated more leniently than adults if apprehended.

I worked on this story in 2006, following migrants on the freight trains that travel from the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico up toward the United States. Then I saw mothers with children, and unaccompanied minors as well, but in fewer numbers than what is currently being reported.  According to the Associated Press article, “Authorities arrested 47,017 unaccompanied children on the (U.S.) border from October through May, up 92 percent from the same period a year earlier. A draft Border Patrol memorandum estimates that number could reach 90,000 in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, up from a previous government estimate of 60,000.”

These numbers baffle the mind. The northern border is unequipped to handle such large amounts of children traveling alone and the ramifications for these children is concerning. This past week President Barack Obama called the surge a crisis and appointed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to lead the government’s response, according to the Associated Press report.

If you’re interested in seeing more on this topic my friend Michelle Frankfurter is fundraising on Kickstarter to produce a book on her intensive work over the past 8 years called Destino, which tells the story of Central American migrants on the arduous trek across Mexico in pursuit of the American Dream. It’s very moving and humanizing work on this complex topic.

Memorial Day 2014

I spent Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, where I first photographed President Obama’s speech at the amphitheater and then headed to Section 60, where many of the soldiers who died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. Every year the families and friends of these soldiers head to Section 60 with flowers, toasts, memorabilia, even picnics, all in an effort to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and memorialize their sacrifice. It is difficult to photograph people in moments of mourning. Each year I try my best to sensitively photograph these hardest of moments and speak with the people afterward, and ask if they are willing to share with me a story about the soldier they are visiting. I’m always touched by how people open up despite it being such a difficult day for them. I’m also struck by how much Section 60 has grown in the seven years that I have been photographing there.

Thank you to the people who shared their stories with me over Memorial Day weekend.

Click on any of the photos to read the full caption information.

A Chance Encounter I’ll Never Forget

UPDATE: AP has published an article following up with the Simmons family, it’s the first time they’ve been quoted directly about their ordeal since after Nick returned home. My best to the Simmons family.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

I never imagined when I made this picture in DC this past Saturday that it would help reunite a missing Nicholas Simmons, 20, of Greece, N.Y., with his family who were desperately searching for him after he disappeared New Year’s Day. His family asks for privacy at this time while Nick’s condition improves. The odds of this chance encounter resulting in a reunion are mind boggling. Thanks to all the people who have reached out about this story, to all the families whose love and perseverance overcomes the odds, and to the outreach workers who help the homeless every single day. My best to Nick and the Simmons family. Please remember those who are still on the streets who need our help.

There’s been quite a lot of interest in this remarkable story. Here are a few links to articles and interviews with me about the photograph and outcome:

Associated Press article with photographs from Saturday’s chance encounter.
USA Today
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
My interview with CBS This Morning
My interview with WJLA in DC
My Dad was quoted in the Syracuse paper.
Huffington Post
Good quotes from the family in this Daily MailOnline piece.
The story even made it to China.
And an important perspective that I agree with: from Minnesota Public Radio.

A note about all the people involved that were part of this remarkable connection: AP Photo Editor Jon Elswick suggested a cold weather feature to me, perhaps involving the homeless. I photographed Nick by chance in DC. USA Today Photo Editor Christopher Powers later selected the image I had made of Nick from all the cold weather wire features to accompany their article about the weather. A USA Today insert was put into the local Rochester paper. The family was shown the newspaper photograph and believed it to be their Nick and contacted USA Today Reporter Nicole DiBlasio who rapidly put me in touch with the frantic family. The Simmons family and friends rallied to the scene from afar. The Greece, NY and DC Metro Police Departments coordinated to locate Nick where I had last seen him, taking him to a hospital where he was reunited with his father who drove all day desperate at a chance to find his son. Without any of these people involved the reunion may never have happened. Thanks to all for the roles they each played in making this story have a happy ending.

Best of 2013

This year seems to have gone faster than most. I was very busy and fortunate to have several assignments that required international travel. Assignments included: Secretary of Defense Panetta’s expected last trip (turned out to be his second to last after Chuck Hagel’s confirmation was delayed), with a visit to the Pope in Rome, Secretary of State John Kerry’s first trip as Secretary, followed by several more trips with Kerry around the Middle East and my first work trip to Asia with new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, with a stop at the DMZ between North and South Korea, followed by a Tokyo layover and jumping back on to another Kerry trip, ending with my first visit to Afghanistan. I never imagined that I would circumnavigate the globe twice in 2013.

You can click the bottom right arrows to see the slideshow full screen.

This August after almost seven years with the AP I had my first trip on Air Force One photographing President Barack Obama in California and again on his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard.

The year was quite the whirlwind. With all of the traveling for work I had to delay a project trip which I hope to begin in the first half of 2014.

Due to the variety of assignments I hope you’ll forgive this year’s photo roundup being a slightly larger edit than usual.

Tribe of Ghosts: Interview in the Daily Mail

An interview I did with the Daily Mail about my project “Tribe of Ghosts” on albinism in Tanzania has been published today.

Photo Copyright Jacquelyn Martin May not be used in any capacity without express permission of the photographer.

I’m happy the paper has taken interest in this heartbreaking issue. To help individuals living at the Center please contact Asante Mariamu, a non-profit that takes an individual approach to education on the issues facing people with albinism.

Photographs that I sent back with Asante Mariamu this summer have been distributed to the people whose portraits I made, which I’m very grateful for. I hope they get as much from having their photographs as I got out of meeting them.

I’m just overwhelmed with the public response from this interview I did with the Daily Mail Online about my ‪ #albinism project in ‪Tanzania. The non-profit Asante Mariamu who I recommend for their ability to directly help the people in Kabanga say they’ve received donations based off the link, and I have people writing me personally asking how they can help. It’s very gratifying to hear such reactions from this work and gives me encouragement to keep up telling these stories on my personal time. Thanks to everyone who has responded.