José Fernandes was born in Coimbra in 1986. He studied photography at the Portuguese Institute of Photography in Lisbon. His passion for documentary photography and photojournalism emerged after his first contact with Público newspaper, where he did his first internship, and after working for two years with this newspaper.
He currently lives in Lisbon and is an independent photographer and contributor to the newspaper Expresso. He is a founding member of Narrativa, a cultural association that promotes training activities dedicated to different areas of photographic intervention, with a special focus on documentary and authorial photography. He took part in the group exhibitions "Lisboa Ainda - Olhares Sobre a Cidade em Quarentena", at the Lisbon Museum in 2020; and "Edição Limitada", at the Santa Maria Maior Gallery in 2022, organised by the CC11 Association. He took part in Mário Cruz's Narrativa Masterclass in 2020/2021. He was awarded an Honourable Mention at Estação Imagem 2021 for his work Surda Cegueira. He is co-author (with Marta Gonçalves and João Melancia) of the report "Calais, The Labyrinth", published by Expresso and honored in the "refugees" category at the 24th edition of the European Newspaper Awards.