Tristen Rouse is a documentary photographer and photo editor based in Washington, DC. A native of southern Missouri, he draws on his small-town roots to photograph topics surrounding politics, religion and culture.

He is currently an associate photo editor at CNN.

Previously, Tristen was a photojournalist at St. Louis Public Radio, where he photographed news and told visually-driven stories for its digital platforms. Prior to working at STLPR, Tristen interned at The Washington Post,  photo editing for the politics, health & science and Tokyo Olympics teams. Tristen also interned as a photo editor and photographer at The Columbia Missourian, where he worked with the investigations, special projects and state capitol coverage team.

Tristen is a member of the National Press Photographers Association. His work has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, the Hearst Journalism Awards program, the G. Thomas Duffy Fund and the Missouri Press Association. 

Tristen attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he earned a Bachelors of Journalism in 2021 and a Master of Arts in Journalism in 2023. While in graduate school, Tristen  worked as the production chief for the Angus and Betty McDougall Center for Photojournalism Studies, curating and printing exhibitions for the McDougall Center Gallery.  In 2020, Tristen studied at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, having been selected for its international photography program. That year, he also participated in the 72nd Missouri Photo Workshop

Photo by Madi Winfield

Using Format