Photographer, Journalist & Documentarist


Meeri Koutaniemi, 32, a Finnish photographer and journalist, was born in Lapland and lives currently in Helsinki.

Koutaniemi's work extends to over 60 countries where she has photographed and documented people with compelling stories of struggle and resilience. Her work stems from the question and definition of identity. Koutaniemi has focused on the humanitarian side of conflicts, displacement, and discrimination. At the core of her work lies a universal strive for empowerment and resistance.

In 2012 and 2013 Koutaniemi was selected as the 'Photographer of the Year' in Finland. In 2012 Koutaniemi received the 'Memorial Award of Tim Hetherington' in the United States and the 'Memorial Award of Carina Appel' in Finland in 2013.

Koutaniemi has exhibited her photos in over 50 exhibitions around the world. The photographer has published all together six books on her independent projects with other journalists. In 2014 Koutaniemi won the 'Visa D'or Daily Press Award' in Perpignan and 'FreeLens Award' at the Lumix Photofestival in Hannover. Koutaniemi was selected to participate in the 'Joop Swart VII Masterclass' in 2014.

At the moment Koutaniemi is focusing on her long-term project about female genital mutilation across different continents.