top of page

Courtesy of 

Darcy Padilla

Ann Lesley
Bar-Tur Award

Highly Commended

Darcy Padilla

Family Love (1993-2014)

San Francisco, California; Anchorage, Palmer, & Valdez, Alaska; Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, Washington; USA

Summary: A 21-year project that examines social issues surrounding poverty, drugs and sexual abuse, and family through one person’s life. ***
At the heights of the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s I was photographing and interviewing AIDS patients living in San Francisco’ single-room-occupancy hotels. Family Love developed out of these stories. In 1993, I met Julie Baird, then 19 years old in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel. Julie, raised in a similar hotel by an alcoholic mother and abusive stepfather, had run away at 13, become a drug addict by 14 and, at 19, a new mother who’d just learned she was HIV-positive. “Rachel,” Julie said, “has given me a reason to live.” For 21 years I photographed Julie and her family’s story of AIDS, loss and reunion, births and deaths. Following Julie from the streets of San Francisco to the woods of Alaska. The purpose was-is to examine societal issues surrounding poverty, drug and sexual abuse, and family through one person’s life. "Family Love" was published in a monograph with 336-pages of photographs and text. The culmination of two decades of research that includes thousands of film negatives, personal journals, documents, phone conversations, and the transcripts of hundreds of hours of video. Telling the story through text and images, that work separate and together. Family Love is a photographic non-fiction novel that offers a new perspective on long-form reportage and documentary. Project trailer:

bottom of page