Josie Lepe’s gaze is that of a Mexican immigrant, Latina mother-based artist and a photojournalist by trade. She redefines the visual representation of what she calls the Latines community. Lepe focuses on visuals that portray females as a counter-image to stereotypes and reinforce positive characterization of her culture as a Mexican American. Lepe is an award-winning independent photojournalist who has been working in the industry of newspapers for the past 24 years. She worked for The Mercury News in San Jose as a photojournalist, photo lab manager, assignment editor, photo editor and multimedia producer from 1999-2018. Lepe was part of the Bay Area News Group (East Bay Times) team that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, California. Lepe’s photography was part of the De Young Open 2023 in San Francisco from Sept. 30 - Jan. 7, 2024.

Visual storytellers interpret what we see, what we hear, and what we feel through a narrow lens. Every story has two sides to tell and how we frame the story is a choice we make as journalists. The path of a positive or a negative narrative is compelled by our sources, our experiences, our baggage, and our editors (the cooks in the kitchen).

It is our duty to amplify the voices of the voiceless but the choices we make shape the path of the story narrative. Transparency, truth, and integrity are key to earning the trust of the community we are covering; being mindful of the cultural lens that shines positive or negative light on visuals. ~ Josie Lepe

Current Role at Stanford

Facilities Specialist II

Honors & Awards

  • The de Young Open 2023, The de Young/Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco (2023-2024)
  • Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the Ghost Ship fire for the East Bay Times, East Bay Times-Mercury News (2016)

Education & Certifications

  • MFA, San Jose State University, Masters of Fine Arts in Photography (2022)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Member, National Press Photographers Association (1999 - Present)