Sara Farid

Sara Farid

Islamabad, Pakistan
Wah Cantt, Pakistan
“I think more about the emotions of people I am photographing than the audience I’m shooting for.”


I cover everything from breaking news to social issues.

One Shot

. Islamabad, Pakistan. REUTERS/Sara Farid
Afghan refugees smile as a girl presents a stuffed toy with a heart-shaped ribbon to her friend on Valentine's Day in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad.
“Friendship is a universal emotion, no matter what your life circumstances are. This image of two Afghan girls exchanging a teddy bear on Valentines Day makes me smile each time I look at it.”


My earliest memory of photography is from my childhood. I remember my father always putting his camera on a self-timer and running to be in the family portrait.

I did not study photography, I learnt through practice. My brother has been my inspiration. Whenever we had time we went out to shoot on the streets. He helped me buy my first camera and taught me how to use it.

My first assignment was I when I was working as a TV news producer in Mingora after the military retook the Swat valley from Taliban control. I was not on a photography assignment but I carried my camera everywhere and took photos of girls who had just resumed their education. It was amazing to see the joy and passion the girls had for education. The response to the photos made me realise the power of images and the difference they can make in peoples lives.

I spent three months documenting the lives of women living shelters in Lahore. The stories of the abuse and violence they had suffered gave me many sleepless nights. I was horrified by the cruelty their families had shown them and respected the bravery of the women who had escaped and built new lives.

I am most excited by assignments that give me the opportunity to capture visual diversity.

I consider the emotions of the people I’m photographing over the audience I shoot for. It has to be an image that transports the audience and makes them feel that specific moment.

I have learnt that I cannot risk someone’s safety for a photograph. I once tried to take the photo of an Afghan woman fetching wood with her newborn baby. When I asked to take her picture she begged me to leave. She told me that if her husband saw me pointing the camera at her, he would kill her. I put down my camera and left.

The person I most respect is my husband who always supports me and gives me strength to do my best. He is always there to take care of our baby boy while I'm away on assignment.