Top Photographer Lynsey Addario Lives Her Photography Dream

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I ‘ve created a list of characteristics and experience I think is an important part of being considered a top photographer:

  • Have passion.
  • Be tenacious.
  • Create images that create, cause or move emotion.
  • Have a story to tell
  • Be known for something.

In one of my posts from last year, 8 Top Photographers In The World For Photography Dreamers, I put a spotlight on Lynsey Addario as one of the worlds best photographers.


For all of the characteristics and experience described above.

Watch this You-Tube video of some of her more recent photography work – and look for her passion, her stories, her tenacity. What emotions come up for you when you watch this video collection?

Lynsey has also been in the news lately. Earlier this year she was captured and held in Libya with a group of other journalists and photographers – assaulted and bullied – until everyone was released alive, 6 days later.

Once she returned to the US, she gave a series of interviews for the New York Times and CNN.

I’ve highlighted a few quotes and comments from those interviews –

The hardest part about what happened to us in Libya, our having been detained, is what we put our loved ones through – more than what happened to us. The whole time we were detained, I think our main concern was that our families didn’tÂknow we were alive. And we knew we would be hurting them. At times, it’s a very selfish profession. And it’s hard to put people through what we put them through.

If a woman wants to be a war photographer, she should. It’s important. Women offer a different perspective. We have access to women on a different level than men have, just as male photographers have a different relationship with the men they’re covering.

People think photography is about photographing. To me, it’s about relationships. And it’s about doing your homework and making people comfortable enough where they open their lives to you. People underestimate (me) because I’m always laughing and joking. That helps. They let their guard down.

I don’t think it’s more dangerous for a woman to do conflict photography. Both men and women face the same dangers.

In the last few years, people have treated me more as part of the gang. But I think that it is a chauvinistic profession. In every conflict I’ve covered, there’s always been sort of a boys’ club. I mean, it’s amazing in this day and age. There are probably a dozen women photographers – at most – whom I see actively in the field, covering conflict.

Most of my life, I had no personal life. I tried having relationships. But they were never successful because I was never home. That’s my fault. That was my decision. I would leave for an assignment and come back four months later. You can’t ask someone to be in a relationship with you if you’re not home.

I will cover another war. I’m sure I will. It’s what I do. It’s important to show people what’s happening. We have a unique access to what unfolds on the ground that helps our policymakers decide how to treat certain issues.

Lynsey is an incredible example of what it takes to live your dreams every day.

Until next photo,


Remys drema is to have a public showing of her photography.

  • hj

    Did you know that most Photographers can’t spell at all?

  • Bacon happens to be  the finest ingredient ever ! It makes just about everything taste much better , which happens to be awe inspiring! ;-)

  • Gunjan Gupta

    Have you seen the in-depth article about her on the American Society of Cinematographers website called, Lynsey Addario: Back From the Brink. It’s a good read. Thought you might like to see it.

  • thanks for the great list… “Be known for something” is one I struggle with. I totally have A.D.D. when it comes to my art outlets.

    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      ADD when it comes to art outlets! you have come to the right place lady! join us next month at the paradise winery shoot. Wine, a newly married couple in wedding attire and WINE. and sunsets! Gotta love it! xox Rem

  • Lisa

    Great post Remy! Loved your list of what makes a great photographer, and loved this: “People think photography is about photographing. To me, it’s about relationships.”

    Ohhh so wise! Isn’t it ALL (life? :) about relationships? To me writing is about that too ~ Communicating a message to readers in a way that will hopefully touch, move or inspire them. I am also so moved when readers write to me to share what they learned or how they have been changed by something I have written… It makes it all worthwhile. And I love writing about people in my life, when it feels like the right moment to do so… Sharing the love that I am given and experience in my life with others, sharing the beauty of that.

    Cheering YOU on, top photographer! :) You rock! :)


    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      it is alllll about relationships girl! Keep sharing, your story is always developing and thriving!
      xo Rem

  • Jayne Speich, Financial Assistance

    Remy, thank you so much for this post and for the video. I’d like to suggest an addition to your list of characteristics. I’m borrowing it from someone else, although I can’t remember who – maybe some other commenter will be able to place it. I think an artist should be in the world without being of the world. This struck me when I started the video and got a youtube ad to find singles in my area, superimposed over that powerful first image. Normally I don’t care one way or another about youtube ads, they’re just “necessary noise,” but this time it was such a stark contrast to the video that it jarred me awake. Addario shows us the world as it is, in contrast to what we, in our coddled existence, believe it is. In the world, but not of the world. Find singles in your area, but PS people are starving and aggrieved past your wildest imagination.


    • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

      Jayne I agree. such a contrast and as we discussed, some of the images are beautiful and disturbing at the same time. Awesome. Thanks for the comment xo Rem