Conflict photojournalist, Lynsey Addario’s book, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War,” inspires photojournalist students to consider the passion that goes into reporting and the pure dedication it requires.

Addario is a passionate photojournalist who travels the world to cover areas experiencing war. She writes that photographing these areas is her responsibility as a traveling journalist and while it may be exhausting, stressful, and dangerous, she writes about the love she has for it all.

When given the opportunity to leave New York and travel to India to photograph, she explains that she “Didn’t wring my hands over seemingly enormous decisions. I just saw the door and went through it.”

This means she didn’t really have many ties to keep her glued to one place. As a photojournalist, she longed to explore and she was ready to leave New York the second the opportunity arose. And when that opportunity came, she took it. Addario had nothing to lose as a photographer and she had the mindset that strived to capture more.

As the book goes on, Addario delineates just how important her line of duty was and just how passionate she was about it. She chose her work over her life and dating most of the time because that’s what she felt she needed to do.

After returning to New York from Cuba she wrote that she was tempted to get right back on the plane because she “didn’t want to lose the momentum of travel and discovery or sink into the trap of a comfortable life.”

Addario didn’t look at her job as work. She loved what she does despite the risks she took and was unapologetic about it. She writes in the book that “Curiosity and courage began to grow and she was hooked.” Nothing held her back any longer when she grew comfortable in her profession and whatever door opened she took it.

Reading her book as a future journalist inspires the student to want that passion that Addario describes. She does what she does despite the danger and risks she faces. She longs to learn about people of the world where they have to fight for their lives everyday.

When she went to Libya later in the book, she still put her line of duty as a photojournalist first. She thought of her cameras and photos while most would just think solely of their family. She longed to get the best-framed shots she could, even if it meant putting her life at stake.

When she was kidnapped in Libya, she wrote, “Will I see my parents again? Will I see Paul again? How could I do this to them? Will I get my cameras back? How did I get to this place?”

She risked her life to get these photos, was kidnapped and almost killed; yet still at the end of the day, she thought of her cameras. She had an extraordinary amount of passion for her line of work.

Visit to learn more on why she risks her life every day to photograph war crises in the world.


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