About Max Whittaker
Max Whittaker is a freelance photojournalist based in Sacramento, Calif. He studied history at the University of California, Davis, and became interested in photojournalism while on a climbing trip in South America. Max worked at newspapers in Iowa and California before going freelance in 2004. He’s covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, presidential campaigns, and social issues in California. He’s a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Getty Images, senior contributing photographer for Sactown magazine, and is a founding member of the Prime collective.
awards + honors
2013 Best of Photojournalism, Road to Office, 2nd place
2013 White House News Photographer Association, National Eyes of History, The Voter, Award of Excellence
2012 Best of Photojournalism, News Portrait and Personality, 2nd place
2008 Communication Arts, Editorial
2008 San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographer’s Association, News Picture Story, 3rd place
2007 Communication Arts, Editorial
2007 San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographer’s Association, General News, 3rd place
2005 San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographer’s Association, Feature Picture Story, 1st place
Unincorporated: California’s Forgotten Communities by Max Whittaker
Across California there are hundreds of unincorporated communities. While a few are some of the state’s richest areas; most lack sewer systems, clean drinking water, sidewalks, street lights, and storm drains. Populated by poor, working class Latinos, they’re neglected by local government and lack the resources to install the most basic infrastructure that city residents rely on. “We have Third World conditions, not only in this area, but in other areas of rural California. Some of it has to do with political will – perhaps in the past, they never had politicians willing to ensure… read more.
The Deciders by Max Whittaker
Iowa isn’t content to just be the first primary state. Republicans in the state get a jump on everyone else by holding the Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa in mid-August. Candidates roam around the corn-filled state, and any Iowan who wants to can look a presidential candidate in the eye and shake their hand. Rep. Michele Bachmann came out ahead in Ames and focuses the field moving forward.
Wisconsin Protests by Max Whittaker
Thousands of protestors gathered at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison to voice their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed elimination of collective bargaining rights for public unions. Their protest runs around the clock as they spend the night on the hard marble floors of the rotunda and during the day as they brave sub-freezing temperatures while marching around the Capitol.
Protest State by Max Whittaker
A look at the often surreal world that exists outside the halls of the 2008 political conventions. Anarchists, cops, and protesters meet in a haze of pepper spray, tear gas, and misconception.
Operation Achilles by Max Whittaker
Afghanistan is America’s longest war, and despite the rhetoric, there is no end in sight. This is a look at an operation in Southern Afghanistan through the eyes of one platoon in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne.
Borderlands by Max Whittaker
The US-Mexico border is the most frequently-crossed border in the world, and one of the most politically flammable issues in the US.
Death of a Trailer Park by Max Whittaker
As the gap between the rich and poor in the United States grows, so does the disparity in housing. Nowhere is this more evident than in California. Housing is not keeping up with population growth – 250,000 families move to the state every year, but only 190,000 new homes are built. This demand has sent housing costs skyrocketing. No one feels these rising rents more than those that can least afford it: the poor. One traditional haven for the poor has been the trailer park. Median rent in the western US is over $850, but a… read more.