Sandy Huffaker

Photographer Sandy Huffaker on the U.S. side of the border in ‘Friendship Park’, where the fence separates San Diego from Playas de Tijuana.

Sandy Huffaker is a freelance editorial, news and corporate photographer based in San Diego covering a wide range of assignments for magazines, newspapers, annual reports, marketing and branding campaigns and corporate, public relations functions. He has crossed the U.S.-Mexico border countless times for his assignments and personal projects.

Some of his regular clients include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN The Magazine,  Newsweek, USA Today, Getty Images,Agence France Presse,  The Associated Press, Smithsonian Magazine, Scripps Health, San Diego State University, Jaguar, SD Sheriff’s Dept. Ted, and many more.

His website:

Sandy Huffaker about his life and work on the border:

“Upon graduating from Pratt Institue (Brooklyn, NY) in 1991, I, along with numerous other young, lost, ambitious souls headed West planning on settling in Seattle, the land of Kurt Cobain, beautiful Emerald mountains, jobs and about as far away from home as you could get.  I got a van and set out, heading South to visit family in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and then a stop for the night in San Diego to see a friend.  I had no plans of staying in this place where surfers ruled and Orville Redenbacher, the popcorn magnate, was the local celebrity.  It was the land of pretty, shallow people with nice climate.  One morning, I was invited to go down to Mexico with some folks to get some beers and tacos, and that’s where everything changed.

From the moment I saw the border wall heading into Mexico, these two completely different cultures separated by a line, it set off a firestorm of curiosity, emotion and an insatiable drive to learn and explore more.  Suddenly, that was it, San Diego was my new  home. Most people migrate here for the weather, beautiful people, I was here to explore the border.

It’s been 20 plus years since I made that fateful decision and I am still as fascinated as the first day I crossed over. Most people here in town go to the beaches, the mountains or malls, I go to the border and just watch, listen and shoot pictures.

In these 20 plus years I’ve covered dozens of stories for newspapers, wire services and magazines  around the globe pertaining to issues related to the wall from immigration to culture to environment and the drug wars.

My hope is to educate and show people, and possibly a few politicians, that there are real people and economies that are linked and being deeply affected by this barrier.”

All photos 2016 © Stefan Falke

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