Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Alexia Foundation Grant, Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship, Getty Images Grant, Alicia Patterson Fellowship, Photo-Reporter Grant, three World Press Photo Awards, and the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanitarian Photography.
Exhibited internationally and published in The New York Times, ELLE France, Wired, Rolling Stone, Granta, The New Yorker, and more.
Padilla has lectured at the San Francisco Art Institute and led workshops at Rencontres d’Arles.
Family Love, her recent book, is based on Padilla’s award-winning documentary The Julie Project that follows a family for 21 years — an intimate story of poverty, AIDS, and social issues.
In 2016, Padilla received the Canon Female Photojournalist Award and documented the U.S. elections exclusively for the French newspaper, Le Monde.