Astrid Riecken


Astrid Riecken

Professional Lecturer, Photojournalism, Studio Arts Program



Astrid Riecken is an award-wining documentary and fine-art photographer, based in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Riecken started her photographic career in her native Hamburg, Germany. In 1993, she transferred from the University of Hamburg to San Francisco State University, where she graduated at the top of her class (Cum Laude) with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 1998. In 2008, Riecken covered the campaign of the presidential candidate Barack Obama. Her photographs are published in the book "President Obama: The Start of an Era". In 2009, Riecken was chosen to participate in the Berlin Wall Project, sponsored by the Goethe Institute, New York City, and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. At the beginning of 2010, Riecken volunteered as a photographer to assist Project HOPE in their relief efforts for the earthquake victims in Haiti. In 2015, Riecken returned to Germany to report on the refugee crisis in Germany, focusing her work on German families who welcomed Syrian, Afghan and Iranian refugees at their homes.

Since then, Riecken has continued to capture the disappearance of the remains of The Berlin Wall in her photographs and in film. Additionally, Riecken continues to document the struggle of aging jazz musicians in Washington, D.C. and New York City.


Current Outside Position

  • Contract and Freelance Photographer for The Washington Post since 2010



  • Outstanding Journalism Alumna, SFSU, 2016
  • Photographer of the Year, White House News Photographer’s Association (WHNPA), 2014
  • Multiple awards in Picture of the Year International (POYi), and NPPA's Best of Photography (BOP)
  • Participant in the Eddie Adams Workshop
  • Multiple finalist for the William Randolph Hearst National College Journalism Competition
  • Recipient of the NPPA Joseph Ehrenreich scholarship and the Greg Robinson Memorial scholarship
  • Group exhibitions and presentations at the Newseum, Look3, FotoWeekDC, The Hoefner Gallery, and The Corcoran Museum



Equally comfortable in English and German, Riecken frequently freelances for international publications. Her work has been published among others in:

  • The Washington Post
  • The New York Times
  • Newsweek
  • Time Magazine
  • The Guardian



BFA in Photojournalism (Cum Laude), minor in Black & Women Studies, San Francisco State University