Farzana Wahidy was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and in 1984 she moved to Kabul at the age of six.

She attended school during the years of the Afghan civil war, and after the Taliban came to power and prohibited the education of women she secretly attended an underground school − located in an apartment − with 300 other girls. When the Taliban was defeated Farzana continued her education, completing high school, then enrolling in a two-year program sponsored by AINA Photojournalism Institute.

In 2004 Farzana began working as a photojournalist for Agence-France Presse, becoming the first female Afghan photojournalist to work for an international wire service. Farzana also freelanced for a variety of international clients and her pictures were published by Sunday Times, ABC-TV, Le Monde 2, Gent magazine, CanWest News, Canadian Geographic, Polka Magazine, Le-temps magazine, New Statement, Guardian, Deutsche-Welle, Save the Children, Kate-Spade, Internews and Collective Number 5 – Photographie et Compagnie. Later Farzana joined the Associated Press news agency.

In 2007, Farzana received a scholarship to attend the two-year Photojournalism Program at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, and she graduated in June 2009.
In 2008, Farzana was one of four recipients of a Merit Award from the All Roads Film Project and Photography Program sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
In November 2008, Farzana received a Gold Award in the Portrait category in the College Photographer of the Year competition at the University of Missouri.
In 2009 Farzana was an Open Society Institute grantee for her documentary project on Afghan Women.
Farzanas photographs have been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world.