Miami photojournalist Al Diaz was presented the Humanitarian Award by the National Press Photographers Association in 2014. His efforts helped save a life in the CPR rescue of baby Sebastian de la Cruz on a busy Miami highway. Diaz stopped traffic as he flagged down help and then captured one of the rescue’s most dramatic moments. 

That image was awarded “AP Member Showcase Photograph of the Year” by the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) and first place in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Sunshine State Awards for breaking news. 

Diaz is a member of the Miami Herald news team that won the Pulitzer Prize Public Service award for the newspaper’s coverage of Hurricane Andrew and the McClatchy President’s Award for Journalism Excellence for coverage of the devastating earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Throughout his career, Diaz has consistently won various photojournalism awards for his work including first place sports portfolio in this year’s 67th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards.

Although perfectly at ease photographing boldface names and superstar athletes, Diaz’s visual journalism is at its most poignant when he’s capturing the “common” man and woman. His tender portraits of the homeless, the hungry, and the disenfranchised in Florida won him and a co-worker a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. 

Diaz takes pride in being ready before the moment photographing a variety of major news events including civil unrest, both domestic and abroad, volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. His international assignments include coverage leading up to the US invasion of Panama to oust Manuel Noriega, the coup attempt on Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, the visits of Pope Francis and President Obama to Cuba and the death of Fidel Castro. Diaz covered the 50th anniversary of the WWII attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the 50th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France on D-Day and NASA Space Shuttle launches.

His coverage of sporting events are extensive, including the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, numerous NFL and NCAA championship bowl games, the NBA Finals, Major League Baseball and the College World Series. 

His knowledge of studio and location lighting is exemplified in the environmental portraits he captures that grace many Miami Herald section fronts and season previews.

Diaz is often sought after as a guest speaker, engaging with his community. Most recently he served as a faculty member at the Atlanta Seminar on Photojournalism, speaker at NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism 2014 Contest Award Show & Education Festival, speaker at the New York Press Photographers Association, and as a guest speaker the University of Miami, University of Florida and at Florida International University’s Robert Frost Museum. He has also served as a curator and guest speaker at HistoryMiami Museum.

In 2011, Diaz found himself the focus of his own work. While photographing the best taco food truck in town for a Miami Herald story, a thief on rollerblades snatched his camera and sped off. A frantic chase ensued, ending up with Diaz capturing an image—with his second camera—of the thief being hauled off in a police car. “I never thought photographing a food vendor would be a dangerous affair,” Diaz told reporters.

Diaz, a Miami native, is bilingual in English and Spanish. He joined the staff at the Miami Herald in 1983 upon graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, and a minor in visual arts. He is married to Cindy Seip with two children, Angelika, Bartek and their dog Amanda Bubbles.

Contact: 305-796-4377 / aldiaz305@aol.com

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