Rena Effendi grew up Baku, Azerbaijan during the economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Walking through the streets of her home town and witnessing its transition was paramount to her development as a photographer.
Effendi’s photojournalism career started in 2005, after she left her job as an economic development specialist. Through her work she strives to show “Life in the corners of the world that are not exactly beautiful.” In Effendi’s eyes, humans are capable of extraordinary perseverance and adaptability. This human strength is what she hopes to depict in her photographs. Effendi has been honored with the Getty Images Editorial Grant and the All Roads Photography Award from National Geographic.