Carlos Javier Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in Chicago.
He has been awarded many accolades including the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Photography award for “Too Young To Die,” his multi-year, comprehensive examination of youth violence in the United States and Central America. Carlos is a contributing photographer with “Facing Change: Documenting America,” a non-profit collective of photographers and writers covering the under-reported aspects of America’s most urgent issues. He has taught graduate photojournalism at Northwestern University and has been a guest lecturer at numerous other colleges and universities. In 2011 he received the Open Society Institute Audience Engagement Grant for "Too Young to Die" and his work is currently in collection at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the International Museum of Photography and Film.
Ortiz has focused on documenting society's most vulnerable communities across the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Israel and Palestine. His long-term documentary projects have been supported by the following foundations: Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, Open Society Institute, Chicago Community Trust, MacArthur Foundation, The McCormick Foundation and The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.