"Everything for me has humanity in it. Even if I'm doing a story on the drought. What's the human impact? I'm always looking for the humanity in every story."
"One way that I've been most shaped by another person is when they're pulling images out that I took, but I didn't even see it, and it's like they're pulling things out of me that I didn't even know I had. I think that's probably the strongest way you can teach somebody, because you're not saying 'well you should go out and do this and that and you should approach it this way'. You're actually finding things within them and celebrating them."
Toensing’s work has been exhibited throughout the world and recognized with numerous awards, including an exhibit at the 2012 Visa Pour L’image, Festival of the Photograph in Perpignan France. Her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. A photograph she took in the Australian outback was chosen as one of National Geographic magazine’s all time 50 Best Photos. Toensing began her professional career in 1994 as a staff photographer at her hometown paper, The Valley News, in New Hampshire. She then worked for The New York Times, Washington D.C. bureau covering the White House and Capitol Hill during the Clinton administration. In 1998, Toensing left D.C. to receive her Master’s Degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University.
In addition to her photojournalism work, Toensing is committed to teaching photography to kids and young adults in underserved communities. This includes working with the non-profit organization Vision Workshops on numerous projects including teaching photography to Somali and Sudanese refugees in Maine, Burmese refugees in Baltimore, young Pakistanis in Islamabad and children and adults in South Sudan and Jordan.