Ahmad Masood

Ahmad Masood

Delhi, India
Panjshir, Afghanistan
“I respect everyone who is honest in their photography.”


I cover general news. I used to be based in Afghanistan, where I shot lots of conflict-related stories, but in early 2012 I moved to India. My role here has expanded to managing a relatively big team of photographers across the country, and in Afghanistan too, to some extent.

One Shot

. MAZAR, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Afghan women walk in the yard of the shrine of Imam Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammad.
“To be honest, I don't have a favourite image. But I like this one because of the light and contrast, and the way the burqa is blown by the wind is quite interesting.”


My earliest photo memories are of family pictures.

If I’d had the chance, I would have gone abroad for higher education, but I hadn’t made up my mind what I wanted to become.

I was trying to flee Afghanistan to join a brother in London when 9/11 happened. I used my English language skills and knowledge of the area as an interpreter/fixer for a Reuters cameraman who was covering the U.S.-led offensive against the Taliban regime.

After the Taliban fell, I started learning news photography in the field from a Reuters staff photographer who was covering the aftermath.

I was accompanying a reporter on a trip outside Kabul to help him with the language, and I was asked to take a few pictures with a small digital camera, because there was no photographer available.

It’s pretty hard to say what I’d like to be doing in 10 years. I don’t contemplate on these thoughts.

When I am shooting news, I edit in the field on my camera. On my way back I make up my mind about the best shots. I file the first two pictures at least very quickly, and then I look at the whole thing carefully and try to cater for different types of clients with the follow-up images.

I respect everyone who is honest in their photography. That means photographers who do not set up, direct, touch or retouch their pictures.

News photography is a tool to inform, and to tell a story with a frame or series of frames. Truly achieving that requires a lot of discipline and dedication.

Behind the Scenes

. Allahabad, India. Amardeep
Reuters photographer Ahmad Masood (right) and freelancer Jitendra Prakash stand in the waters of the Ganges river as they cover the first "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) at the "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahaba.