Justin Hamel is an editorial and documentary photographer based in El Paso, Texas working at the intersection of climate, labor, and migration. Born in Pennsylvania in 1988, he grew up living a semi-nomadic life throughout the United States. 

Hamel graduated from the New England School of Photography in 2012. The same year he became permanently disabled after a swimming accident resulted in an incomplete spinal cord injury. He spent the following three months in Magee Rehabilitation Hospital photographing his recovery and the day to day life of other patients. Hamel has subsequently taken a slower and more deliberate approach to making photographs. 

In the years after his spinal cord injury, he photographed ad campaigns throughout North and Central America while documenting the people and industrial landscapes he met along the way. Following the 2016 election, Hamel and his partner left their home in Boston to spend a year listening to and photographing people all across the US. Eventually, they found themselves in El Paso at the height of President Trump’s family separation policies on the US Mexico border. Since 2018, Hamel has made El Paso home focusing his energy on photographing the root causes and effects of climate, migration, and an increasingly militarized border.

Hamel’s photographs are held in the permanent collections of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, West Virginia University, and the El Paso Museum of History.

You can view my CV here.


If you are interested in commissioning a story or purchasing a print please contact me directly at justin@justinmhamel.com or by phone at 570-506-5881.


Clients include:

The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Intercept, Barron's, Atlas Obscura, Texas Monthly, and El Paso Matters.