Lynsey Addario: Working Mom

Today’s New York Times Lens” section examines the difficulty of being (female, of course) overseas photographers who are also raising young children.

The story focuses in part on Lynsey Addario. The MacArthur “Genius Grant”-winning/Times staffer/Staples graduate has a 2-year-old son, Lukas.

Lynsey Addario

Lynsey Addario

She describes her husband Paul de Bendern, a former Reuters correspondent, as “Unbelievable. Spectacular. Hands on. Good father. Understanding. Patient.”

But, “Lens” says, before they met she “had difficulty sustaining a long-term relationship and her career.”

Lynsey says:

Before I got married it was almost impossible to be in a successful relationship because no man wants to hear, ‘Hey, I’m going away for a month, I’ll see you when I get back. I was fully committed to my work. You can’t ask someone to be fully committed to you when you’re not fully committed to them.

Lukas has already traveled with her to Mississippi, and Lynsey takes him to speaking engagements. But, “Lens” says, he usually remains in London with her husband and nanny.

Lynsey has been captured by forces loyal to Qaddafi in Libya. Since becoming a mother, “Lens” says, she takes fewer risks — “not only because she is a parent, but also because she has lost friends and colleagues.”

“Before I had Lukas I thought, ‘Well, it is very possible that I might get injured or killed in the line of work,’ and I just accepted that as part of what I do,” she notes. “Now that I have a child I’m much more conscious of my mortality. I have to stay alive because I’m responsible for someone else.”

Lynsey Addario photographed this young girl, who died delivering twins. The Sierra Leonean wanted to earn a degree, but at 14 was forced into marriage. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for NPR)

Lynsey Addario photographed this young Sierra Leone girl, who died delivering twins. She was forced to marry at 14. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for NPR)

2 responses to “Lynsey Addario: Working Mom

  1. Sharon Paulsen

    This work is some damn good stuff! Whether the photographer is a “Working Mom”, or not, it’s phenomenal.
    Yup, having kids, or a husband or wife, or family that you care about, would of course play into anyone’s “risk factor”, and luckily this doesn’t stop this talent from doing her life’s work, aye?
    BTW, what year did Addario graduate from Staples?

  2. Great story on amazing Lynsey!