Stefanie Glinski

A tearful child is comforted by her mother in a photo taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Canon Ambassador Stefanie Glinksi.

Photojournalist Stefanie Glinksi's image of Julia and her two-year-old daughter, Tanja, was taken in 2022, at the Refugee Accommodation Centre in Basarabeasca, Moldova. Julia and her children were living in a small room with the few possessions they managed to escape Ukraine with. Julia's husband stayed behind to fight. Stefanie recalls Julia telling her, "My son keeps asking for his father and my daughters barely sleep. They want to be close to me all the time. The war has traumatised them; they are afraid." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 24mm, 1/100 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 640. © Stefanie Glinski

"I was in Afghanistan when the country was experiencing daily attacks," recalls Stefanie Glinski, a photographer and journalist who lived in the Central Asian country for four years, from 2018 to 2022. "There was a lot of violence, but people were also going about their daily lives. I wanted to capture this too."

Documenting stories like these has taken Stefanie all over the world. As well as photographing the events in Afghanistan, she has captured the wars in Ukraine and Gaza and the effects of climate change in Somalia and Kenya. Born in Germany, Stefanie has moved a lot – living in Canada, the US and the UK, which is why she says her identity isn't rooted in where she came from. As well as her native German, Stefanie speaks English, French, Persian and Spanish – now she's learning Turkish, as she's currently based in Istanbul.

Despite her nomadic spirit, Stefanie prefers to stay put in one place while reporting. Whether she's covering hard-hitting news and conflict or the effects of climate change, she prefers to do her work while living in one place, instead of parachuting in and out of several locations. Her priority is not just taking the photo or telling the story, but rather to first get to know the people she is speaking to; hear about their lives, build relationships, relate. People and relationships are central to her work, and gaining a person's trust before photographing them is crucial.

"Those relationships and friendships last to this day," says Stefanie, thinking most recently of her years in Afghanistan. "I was able to learn the language and establish a network of friends." Like many journalists, her coverage there only came to an end when she was forced to leave the country a year after the Taliban had taken over and largely stopped granting journalists visas.

A headshot of Canon Ambassador Stefanie Glinski.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Specialist areas: Photojournalism

Favourite kit: Canon EOS R5
Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM
Boys sit cross-legged on the floor of a dimly-lit madrasa in Afghanistan's Kunar Province, in a photo taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III by Stefanie Glinski.

Boys studying at a mosque in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in 2020. At the time the photograph was taken, the Islamic State was operating in the area, trying to access and infiltrate young students. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 32mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 100. © Stefanie Glinski

Stefanie's passion for photography stems from her childhood, influenced by her father, who gifted her a camera and introduced her to DSLR photography. Growing up in a family where capturing moments was the norm, she honed her skills under her father's guidance, always relying on Canon cameras.

At 16, she began her journey in photojournalism at a local newspaper, mentored by the editor in chief. "He taught me about newspaper layout and stories," Stefanie recalls. "He gave me a camera to work with and sent me out to photograph local events. The photos were published in the newspaper and I consider that editor in chief to be someone who really pushed me to pursue this career. He left a pretty big mark on my life and my choices." With a clear goal in mind, Stefanie went on to pursue a master's degree in journalism at City, University of London.

Two women in brightly-coloured clothes sitting in front of a bright blue container at a refugee camp in Somalia. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Canon Ambassador Stefanie Glinski.

The families at the Jawarey Camp in Baidoa, Somalia, were displaced mostly by drought, but also by conflict. "While Somalia is contributing relatively little to greenhouse gas emissions, the country is at the forefront of the climate war, suffering recurring droughts and drought-related deaths," explains Stefanie. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 38mm, 1/200 sec, f/4 and ISO 100. © Stefanie Glinski

Since then, Stefanie's tenacity and talent have seen her secure a healthy roster of clients including AFP, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The Economist, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters. She's covered breaking news worldwide, including the aftermath of the 2021 war in Gaza, the explosion at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon, the arrival of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh, the East African drought in Somalia and Kenya. She has also photographed the Lake Chad Basin displacement in Niger, the Nepal earthquake, the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone and the Syrian war.

"I focus on covering news, conflict, climate change, humanitarian crises and human rights abuses," explains Stefanie, who has also won a Prix Varenne for her work in South Sudan, where she lived for two years working for AFP.

Why do you prefer long-term projects?

"There's much more depth to it, rather than just stepping into a context that you don't know. The longer you spend in a place, the more your understanding of it grows and with that, your reporting also deepens and becomes more authentic."

Why do you consider languages to be such an important part of your work?

"I work internationally and languages are a great way to connect with people. They open doors; they build trust. In the past, whenever I had moved to a new country, I made sure to dive into language classes. I want to show respect for the place I call home – even if it's a temporary home – and learning a country's language is part of this."

What kind of access does it give you?

"I think rather than access, languages create connection, trust and respect. I want to make sure that whoever I am interviewing and photographing feels safe, understood and is portrayed the way they'd like to be portrayed. Understanding someone's language – even if only partially – also lets me ask people directly for their consent, which is incredibly important for me."

What drives you to do what you do?

"Injustice and the people facing it. Too many people I meet have experienced incredible injustices, whether that's in war, due to the consequences of climate change, or whether that's because of gender roles and stereotypes within society. People often want to share those experiences. Think about victims of war and violence, for example. Sadly, many might never get a chance to testify in court; to receive justice. It's my goal to document such injustices and to tell people's stories."

One thing I know

Stefanie Glinski

"Sometimes it's better to not take the photo. While it's my job to capture people on camera, I've occasionally found myself putting the camera down. Sometimes photography is unwanted; and some situations I've found myself in are so difficult, sad or horrible that taking an image would be inappropriate and disrespectful. I want to be humble while I'm working and I want to ensure I have consent from each person I'm photographing. If the camera is not welcome in a certain situation, I will put it aside."

Instagram: @stephglinski

Twitter: @stephglinski


Stefanie Glinski's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Stefanie Glinski's kitbag containing Canon cameras and lenses.


Canon EOS R5

The ultimate hybrid camera, delivering 45MP images for photographers, and 12-bit 8K RAW video for filmmakers. "I like how it's super robust, especially for the environments I work in, such as Somalia or Sierra Leone, where there might be a lot of dust generated by unpaved roads," says Stefanie. "I've been convinced by the quality of it. I also don't want a large camera that's scary for the people I'm photographing."


Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM

Give your full-frame mirrorless photography the professional edge with a 24-70mm zoom, boasting a fast aperture and 5-stops of image stabilisation. "I take this lens everywhere," says Stefanie. "In Afghanistan I used it almost exclusively. It just works for all the settings and scenarios I've been working in. I don't want the camera to stand between me and another person."

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

An essential lens in the professional trio of zooms, the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM is the perfect companion for news, sport and travel. "I also occasionally work with this zoom lens. These are my two go-to lenses."

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