Barbara Davidson is a three-time Pulitzer Prize and Emmy award-winning photographer/ director best known for her work on victims of gang violence in Los Angeles. Davidson is a 2019-2020 Guggenheim Fellow recipient and will spend the year traveling the United States making portraits of survivors of gun violence using an 8x10 film camera.
A staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times until 2017, Barbara spent much of the past decade photographing women and children trapped in a culture of poverty and guns.
Barbara won global recognition for her 2011 project, “Caught in the Crossfire,” an intimate story of innocent victims trapped in Los Angeles’ deadly gang wars. One of her subjects, Rose Smith, was three-months pregnant when she was hit by stray bullets on her way home from the market. One bullet just missed her unborn daughter — Miracle — who survived. Rose remains paralyzed.
Barbara was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for the project. She also produced and directed a 30-minute documentary, Caught in the Crossfire: Victims of Gang Violence, which received the 2011 Emmy Award for New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming.
In her decade at the Los Angeles Times, she also covered the San Bernardino terrorist attack which earned a Staff Pulitzer Prize, in 2016, for Spot News. In 2014, she was awarded Pictures of The Year International’s award for Newspaper Photographer of the Year, for the second time, in part for her project on solitary confinement at Corcoran’s men’s prison in California.
Barbara mastered her story-telling approach through multiple assignments over two decades and across 52 countries covering war, humanitarian crises and the human condition for the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News and the Washington Times.
She has covered both breaking world events and underreported stories, turning a compassionate eye towards individuals striving for dignity and normalcy.
Early in her career, Barbara traveled with the Red Cross to cover the end of the Bosnian War. Her work since then has taken her to the Second Intifada in Israel as well as wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has also covered natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina as a member of a team that won a Pulitzer in Spot News Photography in 2006 for the Dallas Morning News, and more recently covering Hurricane Harvey for the New York Times.
Since leaving the L.A. Times, Barbara has served as lead creative and director of Volvo’s SC60 Moments, an innovative campaign that used the car’s safety camera system to create a photo exhibition. Photographs from the shoot were curated in an exhibition that premiered in London. The accompanying “making of” film has attracted more than 1.5 million views.
Barbara is currently working on a photography book about Los Angeles gang violence and is planning to document consequences of gun violence in other cities in the United States.
She is sought after for public speaking engagements and is an inspiring workshop leader.
Barbara graduated from Concordia University in her hometown of Montreal, Canada, with a BFA in Photography and Film Studies.
All images © 2020 Barbara Davidson, The Los Angeles Times, and The Dallas Morning News
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