I cover political events, demonstrations, riots and soccer matches around the south Caucasus region.
My earliest memories of photography are pictures that I took of my classmates when I was 11 years old, which I developed and printed by myself. I was very happy with the result.
I’m a self-taught photographer. I learnt a lot from my more experienced colleagues at a local newspaper and a news agency where I worked at the end of the 90s. At the time, there wasn’t a photography school in Georgia.
My first assignment for Reuters was covering Pope John Paul II’s visit to Georgia. I was nervous, of course, because it was my first assignment and I knew the decision about whether I would carry on working for Reuters would be dependent on how successful my coverage was. In addition, any visit by the Pope excites a lot of interest worldwide. But in the end the editors liked my work and it was especially nice to see one of my pictures on the front page of a Russian newspaper the next day.
When I think of assignments that left a big mark on me, the first story that immediately comes to my mind is the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. It was not just a military conflict that I covered as a journalist. It was a war in my own country and it was quite difficult sometimes to manage my emotions and keep calm taking photos.
I love it when events develop rapidly, and I like thinking we tell people important stories.
I respect people who are true professionals and who devote themselves to their job.