A Look Back at Oscar Castillo, the Photographer Who Captured Iconic Moments from the Chicano Movement

In the 60s and 70s, Oscar Castillo used his camera to capture some of the most iconic and powerful moments of the Chicano Movement, as well as of everyday life. And it turns out, his motivation was simple, and something many other Latinos have come to realize. “If we don’t do it, nobody else will, or they’ll do it wrong,” Castillo told the Los Angeles Times.

Though he started taking photographs when he was stationed in Japan as a marine, it was something more personal that has inspired the way he takes photos: his mother’s photo album. Inside the brown, leather bound book, there are images of his family – both people he has and hasn’t met – and accompanying stories.

“We would look at them and learn about different people in the family and the stories that went with different people,” Castillo said. “I continue to use it as a learning tool.”

Perhaps, that’s why his images are so moving, because they do tell a story. These days Castillo, 70, feels he’s too old to be in the action, but his images still resonate with people. So much so that the LA Times has described his photos as “essential for understanding L.A..”

Read their profile of Castillo here, and check out some of his images above.