I have a particular interest in women and gender-based stories, though my everyday coverage ranges from politics and spot news to human interest stories and daily life photography.
My father was an avid photographer of my sister and I. Growing up, I remember poring over family albums full of pictures he had taken of us and my mother, and the many moments he had captured.
While working for a student newspaper, my first assignment was to cover a protest outside a police station. When the police tried to control the crowd, people started fleeing. In the middle of the chaos, I felt a hand grope me and froze, unable to do anything to respond, but feeling a need to continue shooting for my assignment. That day I learnt to be more careful and aware of my surroundings, especially when in a crowd.
The story of non-resident Indian men abandoning their wives left a big mark on me. The men marry women for their dowries, go abroad and never return. The women are left to try and put their lives back together the best they can, but often have very limited options. Dowry is illegal in India, but because of social convention it is still a fact of life in some communities. Some of these women are fighting back and taking their husbands to court, but are stuck in limbo waiting for justice. Working on this story made me realise the privileges I've had to make choices about the kind of life I want to lead.
I love the adrenaline rush of covering breaking news. I love working on longer-term stories as well, where I can meet people, try to get to the root of the issue, build a relationship, understand people’s problems, and document their story as sensitively as possible.
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from the field is to improvise. Learn from the mistakes you make. Everyday we are on an assignment, we learn something different about the work we do and about ourselves. I have learnt to trust my instincts and use them to my advantage. I’ve also learned it’s important to have empathy and respect the people you photograph.
Photojournalism is definitely going through a lot of changes. The main thing that will change is the technology, the medium. But the importance of a still image - the way it makes people move - is here to stay.