• April 18, 2014

Rena Effendi on the Beauty in Unexpected Places

“You become this superhuman being that doesn’t need anything. You just go out taking pictures and you don’t notice bad weather, or hunger, or exhaustion. You just take pictures.”—Rena Effendi

Picture of girls in maramures
Cousins Anuța and Magdalena Mesaroș, 17, are on their way to a wedding in Sat Șugatăg, Maramureș. From the July 2013 issue.

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. —Allie Russell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

View more of Rena Effendi’s work on her website and see her recent work on overpopulation in Egypt.

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

Video Production Credits
Photographer: Rena Effendi
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editor: Allie Russell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM


There are 8 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. marina albu
    May 7, 2014

    weird combination of 15cm high heel with traditional clothing… looks like cosplay or thematic prostitution a bit, no offence to the ladies. if my grandma would have seen me in this heels at 17 she would have put them on fire, on a traditional fire in a traditional fireplace. there are many beautiful ladies all around the world, anyhow, i don’t think anyone would argue with that 🙂

  2. ds_lui
    April 30, 2014

    Thank you very much for those good article and beautiful pictures,
    Thank you again.

  3. Aftab Ahmed
    April 28, 2014

    i like nature beauty to shoot undiscover seen of balouchistan because i am balouch work with NGO. basically i am social worker.

  4. Matt Sullivan
    April 25, 2014

    Beautiful picture! Their faces say so much.

  5. Colin R Tosh
    April 19, 2014

    I’m a little confused. Why is it expected that beauty should be absent from rustic, isolated locales. Please explain.

  6. Ketan
    April 19, 2014

    Always a pleasure to read (see) pictures with life in them…

  7. Jeet
    April 18, 2014

    Beautiful pic, really very nice clik, thnx for sharing..

  8. tikku
    April 18, 2014

    Two beautiful sisters.—I am thankful to PROOF which I find so educative and informative.

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