Ina Fassbender

Ina Fassbender

Dortmund, Germany
Schleiden, Germany
“I always hope to show the people in my pictures just as they really are.”


I cover all sorts of things: sports, the economy, features and politics.

One Shot

. DUISBURG, Germany. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A man stands in front of candles and flowers in Duisburg on September 3, 2010, at the site where 21 people lost their lives in a stampede at the "Love Parade".
“It was one month after the Love Parade in Duisburg, where 21 people died. The atmosphere was so emotional when I arrived; I spoke to some people and all of them knew somebody who had died there. Then I saw this old man who lighted the candles. It was the perfect picture, giving a sense of distance and dignity to all the people affected that day.”


My first memory of photography? When my father took me to his darkroom and I developed my first photo in black and white. I also remember taking lots of pictures of my sister grimacing with my father’s Robot camera.

I started taking pictures when I was a child and I never stopped. In 1989 I began working for a sports photo agency. I worked 80 to 100 hours a week and travelled a lot to big sporting events.

My first assignment was a Bundesliga soccer match between Dusseldorf and Stuttgart. I didn’t understand much about soccer and, at one point, I started wondering why all the photographers were running behind the goal. It was a penalty. I missed it. After that I decided to learn more about the sport.

The visit that Barack Obama and Angela Merkel made to Buchenwald concentration camp left a big mark on me. Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, who survived Auschwitz and also Buchenwald, gave a speech. I was so impressed by him, tears were running down my face. In spite of his past, he looked to the future with so much grace and tolerance. I thought everybody should learn from people like him.

I love soccer with all its surprises and emotions. But I also like stories and assignments where I can find my own style of taking photos and let my imagination run wild.

I always hope to show the people in my pictures just as they really are, and I hope my audience understands what I mean.

I love my job. My hobby became my profession, and there are not many people who can say that.

Behind the Scenes

Reuters photographer Ina Fassbender holds a trophy at a banquet for Borussia Dortmund to celebrate winning the German Championship.