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. 

Hamel’s work is built upon his experience of growing up throughout the United States and seeing similarities across cultural divides. Spanning North America, it aims to break down preconceived ideas of class and regional stereotypes by highlighting the historic and current economic, environmental, and labor exploitation that underpins our society. Made in areas of transition where urban fades into rural and residential blurs with industrial, it brings to the forefront the notion that nothing is clear cut and the world blends together seamlessly. 

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