I cover breaking news, features and entertainment. I am also very interested in documenting our rapidly growing ageing population. I recently worked on my third long-term story about Alzheimer's disease.
As a kid, my bedroom walls were literally covered with photos from magazines, and when I was 11 years old I asked my mother to buy me a small Kodak camera. I used to sit in front of the TV watching the LA Lakers, pretending I was photographing the game (thankfully there was no film in the camera!).
In college I signed up for a photo class to learn how to use a 35mm film camera. I was immediately hooked.
I got my first assignment after I met a photographer who worked for the local newspaper and he gave me his phone number. I kept calling for months and then he gave me my first piece to shoot – the Temple City Women's Club annual membership tea party. I was a nervous wreck.
A photo that left a big mark on me was one that I took of a lady sitting in a wheelchair in the living room of her home, which was being foreclosed by a banking giant. It was a small house and it was apparent that this woman and her family were struggling mightily. The photo came together while she talking with her mother. It was so sad, but I hoped my pictures would make a difference somehow – that was the reason I wanted to become a photojournalist in the first place.
I love the thrill of racing out to cover a breaking news story, not knowing what to expect, and then witnessing it all unfold. Such an adrenaline rush!
I strive to take photos that have as universal an appeal as possible, and that evoke emotions in the viewer.
I have learnt the power of patience, of waiting for a photo to come together. And thankfully, this has translated into my life in general.
I respect Garry Winogrand, who had a unique ability to blend into the scene and capture real life in an extraordinary way. He is truly inspiring to me.
It's an honour and privilege to be a photojournalist.