Photo Stories

Before turning his efforts to documentary filmmaking, Theo Rigby was a photojournalist and covered a wide range of topics for National and International newspapers and magazines. Two of his personal projects focused on immigration in the U.S., and provided an entry point to the issues that he has explored further in films and interactive projects.

Butterfly in the Desert




About this story



Lucila Camacho escaped an abusive husband in Mexico and seven of her fourteen children to the U.S. by walking through the cold desert night. Now, a daily struggle ensues in Arizona for Lucila and her mixed-status family, where jobs are scarce, the terrain is harsh, and a Border Patrol station looks in the center of town. This story was originally published as a 7-page spread in People en Español.












Guatemala, U.S.A.




About this story



A husband and father of seven left his family in Guatemala, hoping to find enough work in the States to pull his family up from rural poverty. But the future remains uncertain, not only in America, but also back home.


This story was originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle.











La Frontera




About this story



Unsatisfied with often superficial news coverage, Theo Rigby first went to the U.S./Mexico border in 2004 looking for a story. Before he connected with the Camacho family in Butterfly in the Desert, he photographed the Border Patrol, and the hardscrabble daily life on the Arizona border.












Los Deportados




About this story



When caught by the Border Patrol in close proximity to the border fence, most undocumented Mexican’s are processed and sent via bus back to Mexico. The bus crosses the border in Nogales, AZ, and drops off the weary migrants 100 feet past the U.S./Mexico line. These photographs depict the moments directly after the migrants have been released.