Born in 1977 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Rena Effendi has been photographing since 2001. From the outset, Effendi has focused her documentary work on the oil industry’s effects on people’s lives in her own country. As a result, she followed a 1,700 km oil pipeline through Georgia and Turkey, collecting stories along the way. This work of six years was published in 2009 in her first book "Pipe Dreams: A Chronicle of Lives along the Pipeline."
Effendi has won several international photography awards including the "Fifty Crows" Documentary Photography award, Mario Giacomelli Memorial Fund award, and Getty Images Editorial grant. In 2005 she participated in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2007, she was chosen by the Photo District News magazine as one of 30 emerging photographers to watch. In 2008 Rena Effendi won the National Geographic "All Roads" photography award. Her work was exhibited world wide including at the "Visa Pour l'Image" Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France, at the 52nd Venice Biennale in Italy and at the Istanbul Biennial.
Rena Effendi's work has been widely published in Newsweek, Time, The Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Marie Claire, L'Uomo Vogue, Courrier International, Le Monde, National Geographic and others. She is represented by Institute Artist Management.