Some of my first pictures were of people dressed like dolphins, penguins and sharks, hugging people from every continent, sunburnt and smiling with Shamu.

Sea World of San Antonio, my hometown. I worked as a photographer there for two summers. I grew up in the suburbs on the Northside, climbing fences and skateboarding under ditches into the wilderness that called my name.

I'm Tyler Keehn Cleveland. I’m a backpack journalist reporting on faith and family. My wife and I met in a house church and we have two children, Joshua and Abigail.

I'm a skateboarding theologian with a devotion to drums. And I love photography because I love meeting people. I want to spread joy with pictures by telling the world a great story - your story.

"I consider my work in photojournalism as a calling..." 

My journey in photojournalism began with a senior year mentorship project that brought me behind the pages of the San Antonio Express-News. I trailed the shadow of photographer William Luther, who taught me that a great photo should always possess something magical.

"You've got to position yourself in the good place to make good pictures," he would tell me.

Looking at good pictures helped me be a better photographer at San Antonio College, where I worked at The Ranger for three years with some of the best instruction in the country.  

In January 2012, I arrived to much colder weather in North Texas, and Denton became my new home. My first semester at a university – and as photo-editor for a daily newspaper – appears in my memory as a rapidly-moving slideshow of images, processed and published and uploaded, my eyes running until 3 a.m. and the janitor lady walking in to clean the newsroom, as we talked about "familia."

Before graduating from UNT, I worked as photo-editor for the Hatch Visuals Agency, a student-run collective that serves clients and hosts workshops. My final semester in 2015 will always be significant for the month-long project documenting beekeepers in the Yucatan, in the Heart of Mexico project. Both videos won national awards: an SPJ Mark of Excellence, also 9th and 13th in the Hearst Journalism Program for multimedia.

I consider my work in photojournalism as a calling.

Local reporting is my passion. The stories we are telling, and the ones we are living, lay a foundation for the next generation to grow. In the midst of stereotypes and single-narratives, I want to show people the bigger picture: where is this all going? Stories of healing, miracles, and hope in the midst of suffering - they can show us.

One doesn't get into photography without confronting darkness, and light. One doesn't seek to report the truth without knowing there are lies, without finding ugliness, and especially without witnessing the beauty among it all.  



Tyler has one of the qualities of an artist that just cannot be taught. He has a very poignant eye for how something ought to look and how it could look with even the slightest tweak that makes the result come out better than anyone could have expected.
— Jason Warren, Independent Artist
Tyler took my daughter’s outdoor senior pictures. He poured his heart into it and had such an eye for beautiful and creative shots. He was so kind, patient and fun, which put my daughter at ease and allowed him to capture her personality.
— Theresa Emberton
Tyler did such an amazing job with our album photos/design; it’s like he could see what was in my head and made it a reality! Also, the video he put together for our Kickstarter was beautiful and very effective; we exceeded our fundraising goal and people who watched it told me they cried! Can’t beat that! :)
— Asia Wall, Many Sparrows

For a two-year break in my undergraduate studies, I lived on a farm with a group of missionaries in Denton, Texas. We started a small house church, and I met my wife.

For a two-year break in my undergraduate studies, I lived on a farm with a group of missionaries in Denton, Texas. We started a small house church, and I met my wife.

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