In 2017, I admitted that in my early twenties, I used some images by others for my work without their acknowledgment. In those years prior to 2017, I composited a number of my own photographs too.
Working within the profession of photojournalism where trust and transparency in shooting and presenting images must be paramount, these past actions breached industry guidelines. I regret the short-sighted and troubled choices I made during this period of my life but offer no excuses.
In a time of fake news and volatile freelance journalism, such mistakes bare consequences. News should rely on nothing less than uncompromising veracity, and has little space for artistic license, especially when undisclosed. To the people who supported my work, I am sorry to have let you down.
I took time away for reflection, and today, I strive towards new and honest ways to honour stories that are untold and deserve attention. I remain fiercely committed to constructing worthwhile narratives to share with the world - whether within the narrative, documentary or commercial realms.
The overwhelming majority of my previous works involved no untoward manipulation and were made with care and in collaboration with storytelling institutions and teams.
All stories, films and images on this site draw from this legitimate body of work.
One image that drew sharp and parallel criticism to this episode comes from a long-term investigation into child trafficking in India. The WIREThe Photo FundamentalistNPR Blog
Unfortunately one image a young woman was appropriated and spread online without consent, without context and with inaccurate information. I regret being unable to share her brave, sensitive and groundbreaking testimony as part of the vital wider public story to which it belonged - one that many people worked hard with me to realise.
Subsequent discussions on the image itself and the approach behind it threw light on issues of representation and the role of a journalist - both to expose and document reality fearlessly, but while always safeguarding those who trust storytellers with their testimonies and lives. I continue learning from these constructive debates today and work with commissioners and partners to ensure human safety, dignity, non-extractivism and appropriate protection policies are always maintained in our work. With regard to this investigation, I have learned from early judgments made, particularly in navigating the difficult complexities of gathering evidence of criminal activities and working undercover as a freelance reporter. Ongoing and future investigations are to be carried out in consultation with experienced legal, ethical and human rights advisors wherever appropriate.
The five-year investigation in its full and intended context was shared with Indian policy makers, NGOs, the West Bengal police and anti-human trafficking units from 2017-19. It has been removed from public access to protect the identities of those involved.