Penny De Los Santos began photographing as a way to understand her own diverse cultural background and identity.
Born in Europe to an American military family that eventually settled in small town Texas, with generations of family history tied to the Texas-Mexico border, Penny’s background no doubt inspired curiosity about culture.
From the historical all male dining clubs of the Basque Country, to Jerusalem’s most suicide bomber besieged markets, photographing culture has been at the heart of Penny’s work. It has influenced the subject she picks and the way she makes photographs. Her recent evolution into food photography has allowed her to explore and celebrate culture, history and community through the lens food.
She has been fortunate enough to travel extensively throughout the US and to over 30 countries on assignment for various magazines making these photographs.
Penny is an award-winning internationally published photographer, she is a Senior Contributing photographer to Saveur Magazine and a regular contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine and Martha Stewart Living. Penny has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards for her documentary photography including: The National Geographic Photography Grant, Recipient of the Prestigious World Press Joop Stewart Master class, College Photographer of the Year, Eastman Kodak Photography Grant, Canon USA Photography Grant, The Eddie Adams Photography Grant, California New Media Award, Ohio University School of Visual Communication Photography Grant and The Parson’s School of Design Marty Fortier Fellowship.
Her work has been featured in magazines including Time, News Week, Sports Illustrated, Mother Jones, Latina, Texas Monthly, Budget Travel, Caribbean Travel, U.S. News & World Report and Paris Match. She has been a contract photographer for numerous publishing companies and cookbooks.
De Los Santos has a Masters degree from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and an Undergraduate degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University. She has been a featured speaker at many universities and industry conferences throughout the country. She is represented by National Geographic Image Collection.