Through the Eyes of Female Photographers

Once thought of as too frail for the job, five award-winning women photojournalists share their most vivid memories from the field — and the images they will never forget.

November 22, 2011 11:00 AM
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Stephanie Sinclair
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Lebanon, Stephanie Sinclair

What drives me: Families were obliged to flee their homes in South Lebanon because of the 2006 bombings by the Israeli army. This picture best represents why I cover conflict. Of course seeing history unfold firsthand is exciting, but that's never worth risking my life for. The only thing that's worth that kind of risk is protecting children, making sure the world sees that little lives are at stake, that we are having an impact on the way these young souls see the world.

I have always been interested in civilians caught in the middle of conflicts and the myriad important social issues that happen in these areas. I've worked extensively in Afghanistan and Pakistan, though I never photographed actual fighting. My focus has always been on the human-rights issues, such as child marriages and acid burning.

Sexual harassment: Most women in the field experience some sort of intense sexual harassment. Mob mentalities are the most dangerous for any journalist — mobs can turn on you quickly, and there are many risks, including death.

Stephanie Sinclair, 37, is based in Brooklyn, New York. Last year, her photographs from Afghanistan were included in an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Photo: July 27, 2006 A young family traverses a dangerous coastal road between Tyre and Sidon during the Second Lebanon War.