I mostly cover news, politics, features and entertainment for Reuters.
As a child I was given a small camera that used to belong to my dad. It took 126 film and produced low-quality, square images, but I loved it from the start and began shooting pictures of friends and family. I still have some of the shots I took with it.
I taught myself photography from books initially and picked up advice from other amateur photographers. Then, when I was 18, I took an A-level in photography at West Kent College in Tonbridge, southeast England.
While I was at university in Sheffield I signed up to work with the student newspaper and was sent to shoot a music gig in a room above a pub. It was great fun and a fantastic atmosphere in a tiny room, although the pictures were tricky to shoot because there was so little space. I can’t remember if I learnt anything technical from that experience but as a result of working for the student paper I decided I would like to become a press photographer.
The assignment that has left the biggest mark on me? The only one that left a physical mark was the 2010 student riots in London, when I was struck in the face by a stone thrown at a police horse. Emotionally, my most moving assignment was probably covering athletes at the Paralympic Games in London; it was an honour to be able to photograph their efforts and achievements. But probably the assignment that has left the biggest impression on my memory was the London riots in 2011. The drama, confusion and sheer hellishness of the looting, rioting and burning will stay with me for a long time.
I don’t have a particular audience in mind when I shoot pictures. My instinct is to illustrate the story and create images that catch the eye – pictures that are, hopefully, either dramatic or beautiful.
I love the work of photojournalist Steve McCurry. I am always impressed by his use of colour to create stunning images that also have great news value and an insightful view of humanity.