Based in Alameda, CA
(617) 285 - 4350 - documentary - lifestyle


Douglas Despres is an American documentary photographer (b. 1981), based out of San Francisco Bay. His stories focus on social and human rights issues in the United States. Aside from self produced projects, Doug fields commissions from non-profits & NGO's, news outlets and private foundations. Editorially, he works with magazines, small business, and travel & lifestyle publications. Much more than the finished piece or production, Doug finds great interest in behind the scenes and daily lives of those working on a product or performance. An easy going demeanor and outlook of commonality over difference provides his foundation to embed in a situation or community for documentary coverage.

Doug has been a freelance photographer for 17 years. He has photographed for four newspapers, interned at the Maine Media Workshops, taught film and digital photography classes on the grounds of UC Berkeley, earned a photography focused Bachelor of Art Degree from the University of South Florida and has imagery in public and private collections around the United States. 

Doug's latest commission from the Life Is Good Kids Foundation documented locations in Minneapolis of the recovery and road of hope from severe childhood trauma. His latest personal documentary coverage is on the multi-generational family tobacco farm life in Cuba's Pinar del Rio province, to be released in early 2019. 

Before Cuban farm life, Doug focused on the Oceti Sakowin main camp daily life of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Those images were featured online alongside a 25 page printed photo-essay by Nowhere Magazine, in their 2017 Annual Print Issue as well as being part of an exhibition running alongside the Nobel Peace Prize forum in Oslo, Norway in 2018.

Select Exhibitions

2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum - Oslo, Biltmore Hotel - Miami, Boston City Hall, Contemporary Art Museum (Tampa), Silvermine Guilds Art Gallery, Tampa Bay Public Library System, UC Berkeley Art Studio, The Wine Gallery, and Ybor City Historical Museum.

Clients / Commissions

Alameda Sun, Amanda Palmer, American Red Cross, Amnesty International, Beehively, Bless by Bless Couture, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, California Counseling Associates, The Cambrian, Coleman Advocates, Compassion & Choices, Cormac McCarthy, Elephant Walk Restaurant, Foster's Daily Democrat, Harvard University, Independent Television Service (ITVS), John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), Life Is Good Kids Foundation, National Park Foundation, The Noise, Oakland Literacy Coalition, The Oracle, Portsmouth Magazine, Pretty Instant, The Princess Project, Rising Star Optometry, SLO Magazine, Smule, Stitch Fix, Susa Ventures, Swervedriver, True Mountain Tea, Unique Thai, The Wire, and Yankee Magazine.

Publications / Press

Alameda Magazine, Asian Boston Magazine, Bloomberg, Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, The Culture Trip, Format Magazine, Gentry Magazine, HuffPost, Hybrid Magazine, Improper Bostonian, Leica Fotografie International, Le Magnifique, Let the Kids Dress Themselves, Metrowest Daily News, National, NPR, Nowhere Magazine, Omnibus Magazine, Performer Magazine, Point, San Luis Obispo Tribune, Shadows in the Dark Television Series, Still Love Film, The Art List Magazine, The Weekly Dig, Wellesley Townsman, and White Space Poetry Anthology.


2017 - Longterm photographic projects masterclass in San Francisco with Matt Black / Magnum Photos, Jacqueline Bates and Leo Jung / California Sunday Magazine, Shannon Simon / Magnum Director of the Americas, and Judy Walgren / Viewfind.

2014 - Street photography workshop in San Francisco with documentary photographer Thatcher Cook.

2011 / 2012 - Taught multiple film and digital photography classes as an adjunct faculty member at the Berkeley Art Studio on the grounds of University of California Berkeley to undergraduate, graduate level, and the greater East Bay community. 

2005 - Digital Service Bureau Internship at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. Photographed for annual catalogue and taught students privately. Regular duties included managing campus photographic equipment rentals, scanning small through large format and flatbed, digitally printing small to large format, high volume post production, and preparing weekly campus slideshows.

2004 - Graduated from Tampa's University of South Florida with photography concentration. Worked as staff photojournalist at The Oracle daily newspaper alongside fine art degree for 3 years.

2000 - Graduated High School from Conant in New Hampshire. Captain of 3 Varsity sports teams and received the school's Distinguished Athlete Award from the U.S. Marine Corps as a civilian. 


Full professional member of NPPA / National Press Photographers Association, WPJA / Wedding Photojournalist Association and FPJA / Family Photojournalist Association.


English, Spanish


Solo travel throughout the United States as well as Cuba and Costa Rica. Small group travel to Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Valid United States citizen passport. 


Full suite of digital and film equipment for still photography. Backdrop, lights, modifiers, and sandbags for studio work. Mobile office with car, laptop, voltage inverter, and hotspot. Full equipment, rental, and liability insurance.

References available upon request.

Using Format