I cover features and breaking news.
Before I was a photographer, I used to work in the hotel where Illinois senator Dick Durbin held his news briefings. I met lots of photographers there who came to shoot the events, and that’s how I got started myself as a photojournalist.
I’m a self-taught photographer. I began learning back in 2002, when I was 24 years old, by reading photography books and websites.
My first assignment for Reuters was covering a fire in downtown Chicago, where I started out my career. I was on a break from photographing a wedding when I heard about this fire in a high-rise office, so I went down and got some shots. Later it turned out that at least six people died in the blaze, and Reuters used my pictures. I learnt an important lesson: always be on your toes and always have your camera with you.
Covering the 2008 presidential campaign left a big impression on me. It was a great change to go out and shoot with the best photographers out there. I had to be really competitive and stay alert. I got some good shots.
I like shooting portraits of subjects outside the studio. There’s a certain essence that you can capture without any artificial light.
I have a really broad audience in mind when I shoot pictures. I’m taking photographs for one of the biggest agencies in the world, and I’m always hoping that my images will be published as widely as possible.
As a news agency photographer, it’s really important to communicate well with your editors and make sure everything is timely. Other than that, you just have to go out into the field and work well with everyone else.
I respect my elders.