Meet freelance photojournalist Julia Rendleman, an educator based in southern Illinois

Julia Rendleman is a freelance photojournalist and educator based in southern Illinois. She is interested in human health, history, community, and the environment. Her work has been used to advocate for affordable housing reform and for harm reduction approaches to substance abuse and rehabilitation.

Her work was chosen for the best of American Photography 37 (for 2020). She attended the 7th annual New York Portfolio Review in March 2019. She is the July 2019 Project Support Awardee of the DocumentaryProjectFund for her personal project “Down the Pike,” a series about American housing insecurity. She was a September 2017 grantee of the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists, investigating the implications of drug use and drug policy on women as it relates to the opioid crisis. Read about “How I Got That Grant” in PDN. 

Julia has received three grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. One for a video story about global economics’s effects on Jamaican farmers, another for a photo essay about Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal, and a series about a woman navigating addiction recovery in prison. In 2010, she was named a Getty Images Emerging Talent Photographer. That same year she received a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography for a story about a women’s prison in southern Illinois.

Julia received hostile environment training through Reuters (2019) and is FAA Part 107 Drone Certified.

A photo Julia made of two young ballerinas at the foot of the Robert E. Lee monument during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 went viral. Julia now serves on the Brown Ballerinas for Change board, an organization created by the ballerinas and their mothers.

Before journalism, Julia was a bartender in New Orleans, where she learned the art of listening.

Julia works for: The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, National Public Radio and other national news outlets. She is a member of Women Photograph and is available for assignment in southern Illinois and across the Midwest.

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