Francis Mascarenhas

Francis Mascarenhas

Mumbai, India
“The unpredictability of photojournalism excites me.”


I cover a bit of everything, from general assignments to breaking news, sports and feature stories.

One Shot

. Mumbai, India. Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
A transgender woman waits backstage to perform during an event to raise funds for their community in Mumbai, India.
“During a fundraiser for the transgender community, one transgender took up an interesting stance as she waited for her turn to perform on stage. She looked really beautiful. I ran across while some announcements were being made and quickly took a few shots of her. This picture is important to me because it shows the beauty and grace of a transgender, who are often looked down upon and have to struggle in their lives as they fight for their rights.”


I had dabbled in photography during college and my dad loved to take a lot of family pictures, but I really got into photojournalism when I quit my job to pursue a year-long course at the Udaan School of Photography in Mumbai. It really taught me everything I ever needed to know about the topic.

My first major assignment was the visit of current Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Mumbai, which I covered for a startup wire photo agency called Indus Images. It was a non-stop chase from the moment he landed, as he decided to travel by auto-rickshaw and local trains. Battling for space in a crowded train with other media and passengers was a thrilling experience. That day I learned physical fitness is vital in the field of photojournalism.

Witnessing history unfolding in front of me and freeze-framing moments from it brings me a lot of satisfaction.

Many assignments have left a mark on me but the story I did about children who would travel by train after school to get water for their homes due to scarcity was probably the most impactful. Spending time with your subject makes you understand their lives and the challenges they face every day. It made me realise the value of water, a resource we take for granted while living in the city, where we have an abundance of it.

A person should be able to understand an image without reading its caption.

I learn something new every day! One of the biggest lessons has been to take a moment to step back in times of chaos, when a lot of things are happening at the same time, and to observe and understand what is happening, before shooting pictures.

My guru is former Reuters photojournalist Arko Datta. The techniques, tips and stories he has imparted to me have made me the photojournalist I am today. Another person I look up to is Rahul Dravid, a famous former cricketer. His ability to stay calm in difficult situations is a quality I admire immensely.

Behind the Scenes

. Mumbai, India. Shashi Shekhar Kashyap
Reuters photographer Francis Mascarenhas on assignment at Versova fishing village in Mumbai, India.