Sarah Blesener is a documentary photographer based in New York City. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she studied Linguistics and Youth Development at North Central University. While in University, she worked as a photographer for the organization Healing Haiti based in Port au Prince, Haiti, covering events surrounding the 2010 earthquake. Upon graduation in 2012, she studied at Bookvar Russian Academy in Minneapolis, concentrating on the Russian language. She is a recent graduate of the Visual Journalism and Documentary Practice program at the International Center of Photography in New York. Her latest work revolves youth movements and culture in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the United States.


2017 - Teaching Assistant for Andrew Lichtenstein, Documentary Seminar, International Center of Photography, New York, USA
2016 - Reporting Safely in Crisis Zones: DART Center, Columbia Journalism School, New York, NY, USA
2015 - Visual Journalism and Documentary Practice: International Center of Photography, New York, NY, USA
2012 - Russian Language Studies: Bookvar Russian Language Academy, Minneapolis, MN, USA
2012 - Bachelor of Arts: Youth Development and International Studies, North Central University, Minneapolis, MN, USA


2017 "Right to Fight" for Oberstdorfer Fotogipfel, Oberstdorf, Germany
2017 "Toy Soldiers" for Zimmerli Art Museum, "Partisan Views and Public Opinion," New Brunswick, NJ
2017 "Toy Soldiers" for IPP 2017, Fondo Malerba per la Fotografia, Milan, Italy
2016 "Toy Soldiers" for #Dysturb Campaign, Bogota, Colombia
2016 "Borodino" for Annenberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2016 "Haven" for Another Kind of Paradise, International Center of Photography, New York, NY
2016 "Haven" for Auckland Festival of Photography, Auckland, New Zealand
2016 "Toy Soldiers" for Fotograf Vakfi, Istanbul, Turkey
2016 "Harlem" for the Out of One, We are Many, The Underground, Minneapolis, MN
2015 "Bohinj" for Patterns in Nature, Minneapolis Photo Center, Minneapolis,  MN
2014 "Saudade" for The American Way, Minneapolis Photo Center, Minneapolis, MN


2017 CatchLight Fellowship Recipient with Reveal
2017 Alexia Professional Grant Recipient
2017 Portrait Award, Student Spotlight, LensCulture
2017 Selected for American Photography 33
2017 New York Times Portfolio Review
2017 Nominee for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass 2017
2017 POYi Issue Reporting Picture Story, Award of Excellence
2017 Social Documentary Network, First Place Grant Prize
2017 Kathryn Davis Fellow, Middlebury College, Midlebury, Vermont
2016 Emerging Talent Award, LensCulture
2016 Emerging Photographer Award, PDN
2016 Visura Photojournalism Grant Honorable Mention
2016 PhotogrVphy Grant Nominee
2016 Dotphotozine Award for Excellence in Photography - Finalist
2016 Alexia Student Grant Award of Excellence


2016 Anastasia Photo Gallery, New York, NY


TIME, Newsweek, New Republic, ABC, Wired, Der Spiegel, Zeit, Amnesty International, De Morgen, Dagens Naerings, PDN, Alexia Foundation, Tages-Anzeiger, The Observer, Narratively, Men's Journal
L'Oeil de la Photographie, ICP Shift Vol 11, Edge of Humanity Magazine, The Travellist, Intro Magazine, Maidens Magazine
The Harbor, Lavender Magazine, Healing Haiti, Latitude, Faribault Mill Co., Minnesota Heart Gallery



2017 - "Toy Soldiers" for Documentary Matters, SDN, Belmont, MA
2016 - "Patriotic Education and Ideology" Open Show NYC, Bronx Documentary Center, NYC
2016 – “Self-reflection and Solitude in Photographing Politics” University of Northwestern, Saint Paul, MN
2016  – “Photographing Politics: Campaigns, Protests, Demonstrations” International Center of Photography Museum, New York City, NYC
2016 – “Haven: Adolescence and Belonging in the South Bronx” Bronx Documentary Center, New York City, NY