‘It’s What I Do’

A Close Reading on Lynsey Addario's Instagram Profile as Digital Memoir.


  • Sini Kaipainen




Instagram, Photojournalism, Self-presentation, Work Persona, Professional Intimacy, Self-life-writing


This close reading of the public persona outlines how high-profile war photojournalist Lynsey Addario articulated ‘it’s what I do’ in her public Instagram account construed as an ongoing digital memoir. Addario’s Instagram profile and her formal journalistic memoir, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War (2015), are fluid continuums of different forms and features that support, authenticate, and promote her public work persona, using various visual and literary techniques to articulate ‘it’s what I do’. Through self-life-writing, Addario blurs the distinction between public and private and incorporates her personal life into her work. The strategies common to autobiographical journalism, self-life-writing, and celebrity culture substantiate, authenticate, and promote her brand. Yet, complicating the professional life and persona with personal and intimate performances does not happen without critical concerns such as intimisation and celebritisation of conflict photojournalism. Findings shed light on public persona work in professional photojournalism through personalised, visual, and branded auto/biographical content on Instagram.


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How to Cite

Kaipainen, S. (2022). ‘It’s What I Do’: A Close Reading on Lynsey Addario’s Instagram Profile as Digital Memoir. Persona Studies, 8(1), 22–37. https://doi.org/10.21153/psj2022vol8no1art1520