ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Darcy Padilla on Her Mentors, and Making Images You Haven’t Seen

By November 5, 2018 November 8th, 2018 Strictly Business Blog

A portrait of Michael Santiago’s father from his project “A Promise.” ©Michael Santiago

Editor’s Note: Darcy Padilla is a photographer and teacher, who had two main mentors, Eli Reed and Paul Fusco.   She learned a lot from them, including how to be a mentor, herself, and how it continues to help her own work, as well as the people she helps.

By David Walker in PDN.

Cross-posted from

[by Interview David Walker]

Documentary photographer Darcy Padilla has won nearly every major photography award, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a W. Eugene Smith grant. Besides pursuing her own projects, she is a dedicated teacher and mentor, currently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In our interview with Padilla, she talks about her mentors, and lesson they taught her that she passes down to her own students. The work of several of those students is featured in the image gallery above.

PDN: Who were your mentors, and what did you learn from them?
Darcy Padilla: There are two: Eli Reed and Paul Fusco. I initially met Eli Reed when I left The New York Times. A colleague of his who freelanced for The Times said, “You need to know Eli Reed. He needs to see your work.” So Eli called me. When he would come through San Francisco we would meet and talk about what I was doing. It was probably almost two years [before] Eli Reed asked to see my photography.

Read more

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.