Photojournalist Lynsey Addario didn’t receive formal training. She learned on the job as she traveled from Cuba to India and then into Afghanistan and beyond, making her a witness to and storyteller of many conflicts.
“To me, it’s so much about doing your homework,” said Addario, “going into a situation, getting to know the subject, making them feel comfortable, getting intimate access, getting access to all different aspects of people’s lives so that I am essentially telling an entire story and not just a single image.”
Addario has photographed the war in Afghanistan — before and after the Taliban regime and the U.S. intervention — as well as the Iraq war. Her images helped expose the atrocities in Darfur and violence against women in the Congo. And her breathtaking work has not come without significant personal risk. In 2011, she was held captive for three days in Libya by soldiers of Moammar Gadhafi.
Addario tells her story in her new memoir, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.” The book spans from her first photographic experience through her time in conflict zones, her kidnapping and why she continues to go back to war-torn countries.
Addario was a 2009 MacArthur Fellow and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting and her images appear regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic and Time magazine. She recently joined chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown for a conversation about her new book and her career.
See a sample of her wide body of work, from Iraq and Afghanistan to the streets of New York, below.
Warning: some of these images depict the graphic nature of war.