I cover news, sport, business, and feature stories in Los Angeles and sometimes in other parts of the United States or internationally. Among events I have photographed are seven Olympic Games; elections in the U.S. and Afghanistan; and California wildfires and drought. I have also worked as a reporter and am experienced in shooting and producing video.
The purpose of news photography is: to witness and record history; to show injustice and inspire change; to allow people to look at the world from a different perspective or with new insight; to celebrate the joy, humour and emotional range of life.
My earliest memory was seeing my sister after she was born when I was two and a half. I remember looking at photos of that time, and thinking how amazing it was that they triggered other memories and merged with the images I already had in my head.
When I was quite young, my Polish grandfather showed me a photo of himself in a forced labour camp before he was sent to Stutthof concentration camp during World War II. In the photo, he is standing in the snow with a "P" stitched onto his clothes. My mother told me a lot of family stories about this time but the photo made them real.
I found a Robert Capa photo of Warsaw taken in 1948 which shows a couple of kids walking among piles of bricks stretching to the horizon in every direction. My mother told me how she always played in rubble as a child and when I looked at this photo, I could picture her aged five.
I taught myself photography by reading books, going to exhibitions and practicing in the darkroom while I was working as a reporter at the Mid Sussex Times in the UK.
If I hadn’t become a photographer, I would have done something else in journalism. If I was starting out today, I think I'd be really interested in filmmaking.
The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was the Afghanistan presidential election in 2009. It was fascinating to see so many regions of a beautiful country. It was inspiring to meet and photograph the women there.
I love shooting sports. I love shooting documentary feature stories where I can spend some time to get to know the subjects. I like shooting news stories where I'm able to illustrate global or national stories by showing their impact on individual people's lives.
I have more patience than I used to have. I like to try to take the time now to figure out what the story is instead of going in with preconceived ideas.
It's a privilege to be invited in as an intimate observer of other people's lives. Meeting so many different people is one of the best aspects of the job. This profession puts you in countries and situations you probably wouldn't experience otherwise.
The job sometimes involves long days, erratic hours, carrying lots of heavy gear, and negotiating with officious security guards.
I have a lot of respect for the Reuters photographers who work day in, day out in war zones and stressful situations — Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, the Mexican border — and risk physical harm to bring news photos to the world.
I’d like to share this video I put together about the stories behind Reuters’ Olympic photography: http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2012/08/10/photographing-the-olympic-best/