Mohammad Ismail

Mohammad Ismail

Based
Kabul, Afghanistan
Born
Kabul, Afghanistan
Status
Photographer
“I have seen a lot of violence in my life.”

Beat

I cover stories of conflict, features and daily life.

One Shot

. KABUL, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
An Afghan boy sells cigarettes on a snow-covered street in front of the war-torn Darul Aman Palace in Kabul.
“My favourite image is one of a small boy selling cigarettes during a cold winter, waiting for customers so he can earn money and feed his family. He should not be working, he ought to be playing like other children and going to school, but he has no other option.”

Profile

My earliest memory of photography is my passport photo; I was seven years old when a photographer took my photo for school registration.

When I joined Reuters, I was trained by our chief photographer in India, Ahmad Masood. I didn’t have a background as a professional photographer before that. I was working with the UN before I came to Reuters.

For my first assignment I went with my colleagues to shoot pictures of a police check point. I was still learning how to photograph, and the experience was amazing for me.

The stories that intrigue me most are the ones about violence, conflict, and people’s daily lives. People here in Afghanistan have very different experiences compared to people in other countries.

I have learnt how to work in a conflict situation and how to keep myself safe. This was partly through being given hostile environment training. But it was also because I grew up in the midst of conflict, and that gave me experience in protecting myself. I have seen a lot of violence in my life.

Behind the Scenes

. Kabul, Afghanistan
Reuters photographer Mohammed Ismail takes pictures of an Afghan boy playing on top of a hill in Kabul.