I’m a storyteller at heart.

           I’ve been a photojournalist for almost thirty years and much of my work has been self-generated documentary photojournalism, focusing on individuals whose daily struggles breathe life into statistics and current events. 

            My work has taken me inside the lives of people who have granted me that privilege. I bring a passion to my work, whether covering international stories in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Cuba or stories in my own community.

            I’ve photographed and written about the impact of war.

            I’ve focused on stories about aging.

            I’ve always been drawn to stories about public health issues.

            I love to photograph ballet.

            I love to photograph the rock formations of the American southwest.  

            If it’s compelling I’m eager to capture it.


             I was born in New York City, raised in Dayton, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in history. 


             I’ve traveled to Iraq twice to cover the war, both times working independently of the military and focusing on the impact of the war on civilians. I also covered the first Gulf War, photographing refugees in Jordan who fled Kuwait when Iraq invaded.  After that war ended, I traveled to Kuwait and southern Iraq to cover the aftermath.    

             Since returning from Iraq in 2004 I have focused a lot of my coverage on the impact of the war on people who live in the community -  wounded soldiers, those with PTSD, Gold Star families, Iraqi refugees, activists on both sides of the war, and families of deployed soldiers and Marines.


             One of the wonderful things about being a photojournalist is that I can cover a wide range of stories - from the impact of tragedy to the joy of dance,

             As I said - I’m a storyteller at heart.

             If there’s a story to be told, I’m there.


   Pulitzer Prize finalist twice  -  2004 for a team entry covering the California recall election

                                and 1992 for a team entry documenting the U.S. visit of Nelson Mandela.

    2008       1st Place, Multimedia News Story and Essay; Pictures of the Year International

    2007       1st Place, Multimedia Package, Smaller Websites, National Press Photographers Association’s 

                                 Best of Photojournalism contest.                                                         

                     Honorable Mention, Feature Picture Story, Best of Photojournalism   

                     Award of Excellence, Multimedia Feature Story or Essay, POYi  

    2003        Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Daily Photojournalism

    2002        1st Place, Editing Division, Multiple Page News Story, POYi (Team entry)        

                     3rd Place, 30th Annual SFBAPPA Awards, Photographer of the Year   

    1994        1st Place Feature picture story, Pictures of the Year International

    1991        2nd Place Feature Picture Story, Pictures of the Year International  

    Twice named Michigan Press Photographer of the Year




    Staff Photojournalist, San Jose Mercury News; San Jose, California

•    Emphasizing documentary photojournalism, whether on projects, or daily  news and features

•    Have covered the war  in Iraq twice for parent company Knight Ridder, focusing primarily on the impact of the war on civilians

•    Have also worked regularly as a picture editor


    Contract Photographer, Orange County Register; Santa Ana, California


    Staff Photographer, Detroit Free Press; Detroit, Michigan

•    Concentrated on self-generated documentary photojournalism, putting a human face on social issues and news, while also covering daily stories.

•    Covered stories regularly overseas -- mostly in the Middle East -- plus in Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Belarus.

•    Filled in regularly on the picture desk and as assignment editor.



    Staff Photographer, Trenton Times; Trenton, New Jersey





    The University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan

       •    B.A. in History and worked at the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily




    Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan

                                         •    Studied Public Policy, Public Health, Spanish, Literature, Eastern European

                                               History, and Pottery during a nine-month sabbatical program for journalists.


Pauline Lubens