I cover all kinds of news events. I like photographing stories that are about unconventional things happening to ordinary people, or that have particular human interest.
My earliest memory of photography is of shooting pictures in the countryside when I was young. Later on, I didn’t really go through any professional training; I mainly learnt by reading about the subject and practicing.
I started out as a freelance photographer, trying to find interesting things in my life to photograph, and then sending the pictures to local media.
My first assignment was in 2002, documenting the lives of a group of miners employed in a quarry. They did this high-risk job while hanging from ropes suspended from a cliff, and I photographed their lives both during and after work and then wrote a story to accompany the pictures. I was lucky to have such a good subject to work on for my first assignment.
Working on that story about the miners gave me some experience of all the common challenges in photojournalism: how to work with strong backlight and fast movements, how to tell a story, and how to gather information properly.
The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was about a man who was taken hostage in Liu’an on June 21, 2004. I saw the hostage taker being shot to death by police, but I didn’t manage to capture the moment on camera because of a technical difficulty. I realised that mastering practical shooting skills is just as important as having a quick and bright mind.
I most enjoy photographing humanitarian subjects. But I’m also always ready to jump in and shoot an important breaking news subject.
The Chinese photographer Hou Dengke is someone I admire a lot. As for foreign photographers, I really like the work of Marc Riboud, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sebastiao Salgado, because their photos reveal truths about life, and make it beautiful and timeless.