Max Whittaker • Photographer Profile
Max Whittaker is a freelance photojournalist based in Sacramento, California and focused on covering social and environmental issues in California and the larger American West. His clients include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harper’s, Center for Investigative Reporting, Outside magazine, and he’s a founding member of Prime Collective.
On the evening of March 18, 2018, Sacramento Police Officers Officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet were investigating routine vandalism complaints in the Meadowview neighborhood when they shot and killed Stephon Clark, 22, in his grandmother’s backyard. They claimed he pointed a gun at them. It was a cellphone.
"In the Shadow of the Sun" is a rebuttal to the typical representation of California as a land of wealth and beauty. It's not just the home of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Yosemite and Napa. It's also the state with the highest rate of poverty in the nation.
The years-long drought in California has led to a steady uptick in the number, size and ferocity in wildfires in the state. Wildfires are a natural phenomenon, but drought, climate change and decades of fire suppression led to more than 6,000 wildfires burning more than 300,000 acres in 2015 alone.
Max Whittaker is a freelance photojournalist based in Sacramento, California focused on covering social and environmental issues in California and the larger American West. A regular contributor to The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, his work has been featured in Harper's, TIME, Newsweek, GEO, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, and many others. He’s a founding member of Prime Collective and won awards from Pictures of the Year, Best of Photojournalism, White House News Photographers Association and Communication Arts.
Max Whittaker scaled the 22,840’ peak of Argentina’s Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside the Himalayas, following Isabella de la Houssaye’s effort to scale the mountain while battling Stage 4 lung cancer, on assignment for The New York Times.