Barbara Stauss was born and raised in Switzerland, and moved to Berlin to study Russian, and later photography and visual communication. In 1996, she was a founding member of Mare—Die Zeitschrift der Meere, a sea-themed magazine dedicated to classic photo reportage and picture essays. Since that time, Stauss has been image director at Mare, responsible for its photographic concepts and visual narratives. In 2010, Stauss organized the re-launch of the German edition of Reporters Without Border’s annual photo book, and went on to work as project manager with the organization. The re-launch received the Kress Award that year. Stauss also works as a freelance editor.
In addition to these editorial activities, Stauss curates photo exhibitions and teaches photo-editing seminars. She was a tutor at World Press Photo’s workshop in Sri Lanka in 2003, a master for World Press Photo’s 2006, 2007 and 2008 Joop Swart Masterclasses, and is also a nominator for the masterclass.