Last October, after hanging out with her in Portugal…

Last October, after hanging out with her in Portugal for a few days, I received a message from Lianne that read: “Hey! Let’s apply for the IWMF Adelante fellowship together”.

Since we met in Cambodia, some 7 years ago, Lianne has been a constant support and encouragement throughout my career. I came to learn through friends in common that whether in San Francisco or Brazil, Lianne has created networks for women to learn and help each other. So really, what better partner could I ask for?

When I asked Lianne what drives her to decide what stories to report on, she said: “It is pretty straight forward: I choose stories based on what moves me”.

Lianne’s work focuses on socio-economic issues. She explains that she’s naturally drawn to underreported stories and women topics, and has documented intimately the impact of the Zika virus in new-borns in Northeast Brazil, the effects of post-civil war violence in Guatemala, and the work of Sharia police women in Indonesia.

She says photography has helped her to open up. “I was extremely shy!”, she laughs, which is hard to believe when you first meet her!

Lianne also says that it was totally by accident that she got into journalism, “I thought I was going to be a travel writer. I was in a mass communications class and I became friends with a punk rocker who was super enthusiastic about a photojournalism class. I promised her I would do it too, and soon after, it became a whole other world for me”. She rolls her eyes and ends the sentence laughing: “it’s like photography just clicked!”

– Erika Piñeros