How I captured the final crossing of Civil Rights legend John Lewis
Michael M. Santiago is a staff news photojournalist with Getty Images. He received his B.F.A. at San Francisco Art Institute and a Master’s of Science degree from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. His work has focused on issues ranging from health, race and identity, family relationships, youth empowerment, and more. Michael is a member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette staff that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the shooting deaths of 11 people and the wounding of seven others on Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The judges called the staff’s work “immersive, compassionate coverage … that captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief.”
He was the recipient of the 2015 Alexia Foundation student grant for his project “Stolen Land, Stolen Future” a body of work focusing on Black farmers of California. His project “250” a work revolving around the life of a man’s struggle with obesity won the 2014 Forward Thinking Museum 1st quarter photography competition and his projects, “A Promise” and “Michael the Veteran,” were selected as juried winners for Morpholio Projects Future Voices. He was also invited to attend the 2015 and 2017 New York Times portfolio review and was a student at the Eddie Adams Workshop XXVIII. His portfolio received an Award of Excellence at the 70th College Photographer of the Year awards. He received a Grand Prize award in the Documentary/Photojournalism category at PDNedu 13th Annual Student Photography Competition and a winner in the 2016 PDN Photo Annual in the student category. He was named a 2017 Carnegie-Knight News21 fellow. The News21 conducted a national multimedia investigative reporting initiative focusing on water pollution and its impact on health in the U.S. Santiago served as cinematographer and producer on News21’s first documentary “Troubled Water”. The film has gone on to win an Edward R. Murrow award, final in the yearly Investigative Reporters and Editors awards, earn a second-place title in Best of The West, was honored for a Webby, a Pro-Am Student Award at the 2018 Online Journalism Awards, and a 2018 Student Production Award at the Rocky Mountain Emmy.
His work has been published and featured in ProPublica, The New York Times, New York Times Lens Blog, VICE Australia, Slate, ESPN’s The Undefeated, PBS Newshour, The San Francisco Chronicle, Scientific American, The Guardian, Buzzfeed News, AARP and The Huffington Post. He has assisted publications such as National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Buzzfeed News, and Bloomberg News. Michael was also 1 of 4 contributing photographers for WNET’s “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.” Michael is also a member of Diversify Photo.