As a correspondent for Reuters since 2012 I’ve had to cover different topics, including political subjects and features. But my first assignment was covering violence.
My interest in photography was awakened in 2003 when I was working as an administrator at a bar for photographers. I screwed up the courage to ask them to show me how to use their cameras.
I’m completely self-taught as a photographer. I learnt step by step, watching and asking questions.
Covering violence in Honduras has taken me to San Pedro Sula, around 260 km away from Tegucigalpa. The topic is a really difficult one because of the seriousness of the situation there. I thought that being around the people affected would be a really sensitive issue and that they might be easily offended, but in fact I didn’t attract attention. The value of life in the city has turned into something that means you are not supposed to feel surprised by the quantity of dead bodies that you see and hear about every day.
I consider myself a conflict reporter. I’ve never had to cover a war, but in Central American countries there are many assignments where the situation is so volatile that you have to run.
I like covering stories where you have to use your common sense to get a photo.
I have a general audience in mind when I take a picture. Our work is judged for better or for worse, but in the end it has to be done in order to communicate what is going on. Communicating is something I enjoy.
Every assignment teaches me a lesson, like to never look directly into the eyes of a gang member, because it is disrespectful, or to change your lights when you go to a gang-held neighbourhood so that they know that you’re not the police.
I respect my mentors Oswaldo Rivas from Reuters and Tomas Stargardter from Diario La Prensa for having given me the opportunity to start out in the field of photography. It’s a profession with many stumbling blocks, but if it had been easy I don’t think it would have interested me.