Stephen Reiss | Sugar and Luis

Country of origin: United States
Project location: United States
Program: Magnum Foundation Fellowship
Year: 2013

Wilfredo “Sugar” Gonzalez and her husband Luis San Oguel, both HIV-positive, are a same-sex couple living in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. Sugar provides child care for parents in the neighborhood, which is among the top zip codes with the highest unmet need for child care services in New York City, according to a study by the New York Child Care Resource and Referral Consortium.

With a lack of affordable child care resources for parents in the area, many of whom are immigrants, Sugar and Luis provide an unconventional but essential alternative. The children Sugar cares for are affectionately known as “Sugar Babies” by their parents and people in the neighborhood.

Stephen Reiss is a social documentary photographer born in New York City in 1981. He received his undergraduate degree in English and Biology from Skidmore College in 2003, and worked in the field of medical communications before turning his attention to photography in 2009.  

Stephen graduated from the Documentary Studies and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in 2009, where he was awarded the John and Annamaria Philips Foundation Scholarship for Photojournalism. 

He participated in the Eddie Adams Workshop XXIII, LOOKbetween, and received a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Fellowship in 2013 for his long-term work on foster care in the South Bronx. He received an NPPA Short Grant in 2015.