I cover features, sport, general news and politics.
My earliest memory of photography is of seeing a glass-plate negative at my grandmother’s house as a young child. My great-grandfather was a photographer and there were many beautiful photographs and relics from that era around the house.
While studying photojournalism at university, I travelled with a group of Catholic nuns to East Timor, which was ruled by Indonesia at the time. It was a great experience to learn how to manage yourself on the road and develop relationships with your subjects. Being a new photojournalist, I didn't have the experience to protect my emotional state and allow me to work in difficult situations. I returned on a self-funded trip after three months to see how the country was faring, and even now, 20 years later, I still feel a close tie with the Timorese.
I’ve always loved storytelling, which photography allows you to do in an amazingly intimate way. I thrive at covering news events like natural disasters, where you have to hit the ground running and think on your feet. Throwing myself into an issue, making contacts and building relationships, and telling a story from start to finish is massively fulfilling for me.
My biggest lesson has been to be present in the moment and take the photo. Covering the Christchurch earthquake, I missed an amazing moment when I walked past a scene, rushing to something else, and never forgot it.
Photojournalism allows the viewer to experience an event in a very personal way, putting them face-to-face with a moment. It is increasing in importance now with the broad reach photography has on social media platforms. With the rise of deepfakes, trusted news sources with strong ethics will become more vital than ever. I see photojournalism going from strength to strength, and merging more closely with video.
This was a tough industry to get into when I started, and it’s tough now. My advice is to keep going, not to stop knocking on doors and shooting, take opportunities. You’ll get there eventually.