Born in Buenos Aires, Lestido studied photography in 1979. From 1982 to 1995, she worked as a photojournalist for the dailies La Voz and Página/12. In 1991, she was given a grant by the Hasselblad Foundation to photograph women with their children at Los Hornos Prison in La Plata. She has published her black-and-white photographs, mainly concerned with the difficulties women face in society, in photobooks including Madres e hijas (1993) and Mujeres presas (1991). Since 1995, she has also coordinated photographic workshops, including one in the Ezeiza women's prison. Also in 1995, she became the first Argentine photographer to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship.
Lestido's works are widely exhibited. In Argentina, they are included in the collections of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Museo de Arte Moderno, in the United States at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in France at the Bibliothèque nationale and in Sweden at the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg.
A retrospective of Adriana Lestido's work was held in 2010 at the Casa de América in Madrid. It included some 160 black-and-white photographs spanning the period from 1979 to 2007.
- Lestido, Adriana (2003). Adriana Lestido: Madres e hijas. La Azotea editorial fotográfica. ISBN 978-950-9536-27-2.
- Lestido, Adriana. Adriana Lestido: Imprisoned Women with Their Children.
- Lestido, Adriana; Díaz, Gabriel; Travnik, Juan (2008). Adriana Lestido: lo que se ve : fotografías 1979-2007 : Sala Cronopios, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, de 11 de marzo al 20 de abril de 2008. Centro Cultural Recoleta. ISBN 978-987-05-3927-8.
- Lestido, Adriana (2010). Interior. Grupo Insud.
- Saccomanno, Guillermo (2007). Mujeres presas. Dilan Ed. ISBN 978-987-20412-7-4.
- "Adriana Lestido: Women Imprisoned with their Children", Hasselblad Foundation. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- Fiorella Antonella Balbi, Macarena Andrade, "Adriana Lestido", Es Lo Que Hay. (Spanish) Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- Josefina Licitra, "The painful beauties of Adriana Lestido", Revista Nuestra Mirada. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Adriana Lestido - first great retrospective in Spain", ars magazine, 14 June 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- Adriana Lestido from l'Agence Vu
- Josefina Licitra, "Adriana Lestido: Mothers and daughters", interview with Adriana Lestido from Revista Nuestra Mirada.