Road to discovery

Stunning photography and an exploration of the history of southern Asia's oldest and longest road was a recipe for success in a book recently launched at Manningham Library. 'The Grand Trunk Road: From Delhi to the Khyber Pass' looks at the important role the 1,500 mile long road has played in the process of migration and the industry that is still based in southern Asia.

Anthropologist and historian Irna Qureshi was responsible for collecting the oral testimonies to accompany the stunning imagery from photojournalist Tim Smith. While speaking to Irna about the process of collating the book, she said: "One of my grandfathers was a clerk in the army in India. I discovered that the Grand Trunk Road played a large part in how my family first came to the UK."

To read the full article in The Asian Express newspaper, click here to visit the Asian Express newspaper site and turn to page 30 Read more »

Funding crisis

Cuts made to the amount of support provided by the council have affected many organisations. I recently covered the impact felt by a children's scheme that has now closed due to the lack of funding from Bradford Council. Children aged between 8 and 13-years-old have been helped by the Play and Learn Zone Programme. The scheme works with young people that have been identified at most risk of committing crime, re-offending, anti-social behaviour or school exclusion.

Isara Mohammed, 11, is one of the programme's success stories. He has been able to become more confident, face difficulties in his personal life and was even crowned the winner of the Bradford Young Citizen's Awards' Stay Safe category in March. Zahida Hussain, manager of one of the partner organisations in the scheme believes the closure of the scheme will affect the community as young people will be more likely to get involved in anti social behaviour.

To read more about the closure of the programme, click here to visit the Asian Express newspaper site and flick to page 34 Read more »

Giving back

Being able to cover stories that draw attention to the selfless work some people do in order to improve the lives of others is one of the highlights of my job. I recently spoke to Farhaan Hussain, a 23-year-old volunteer from Bradford who has been showing his support for a global scheme that enables young people to help out some of the poorest communities around the world.

Furhan knows what rewarding work volunteering can be as he went to Indonesia with development charity VSO to help people there by eaching them English, geography and maths. Following on from the life-chaging experience, Farhaan was keen to encourage other young adults to become involved with the new International Citizen Service scheme.

He told me: " I wanted to see and engage with other parts of the world and attempt to make a difference in the process. Volunteering is an exceptional way of doing this because it allows you to interact with people in their community at a genuine level."

To read the full news story, click here to visit the Asian Express newspaper site and head over to page 12 Read more »

Advertorial for Grill & Chill restaurant

Even though my day to day job mainly focuses around news stories, interviewing people in the community and then taking photographs to run alongside the article, I also produce advertorials for various companies. This particular project was a wrap for restaurant and takeaway Grill & Chill that would, as the name implies, wrap around the front cover of the newspaper.

I was responsible for interviewing the owners of the establishment to get an idea of what the recently opened venue would be serving, its overall business model and any plans for the future. As the design team at the newspaper would be working their creative magic and putting the advert and text together to publicise the company, I needed to take photographs of all aspects of Grill & Chill such as the dishes that would be served, interior of the restaurant and staff that work there.

To see the full advertorial wrap click here (or click on the images below to enlarge them) Read more »

Father makes plea to keep heart unit open

As a result of the NHS's 'Safe & Sustainable' review of children's heart surgery provision across the UK, the number of heart surgery centres will be cut. The heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) is one of the centres at risk so I went down to the hospital to meet a family that would be affected if the closure was to go ahead and carried out an interview and took photographs to support the piece.

When Aman Adnan was just 12-weeks-old his parents were told he had a heart block and he was sent to LGI to have a pacemaker fitted. If the family, which lives in Dewsbury, had been forced to travel further afield for surgery to Newcastle or Liverpool, his chances of survival could have been reduced. Now three-years old, Aman is recovering in the unit after having surgery to replace a pacemaker. Read more »

Legal Eagle makes the front page

Working for a newspaper allows me to meet people from all walks of life. I recently had the opportunity to meet a barrister from Bradford who is the first Muslim from the north-east to be appointed to sit on Queen's Counsel. This was my first front-page news story for the Asian Express newspaper and I was pleased for the photograph I took to appear within the paper as well as on the cover. Tahir Khan is hopeful that his appointment will inspire other young people to enter the legal profession and advises anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps to strive to achieve academically, show commitment and gain experience through work shadowing.

The 46-year-old barrister has worked at Broadway House Chambers in Bradford for the past 20 years and singles out becoming a recorder and part-time judge as one of the highlights of his career. In line with Tahir's impressive achievements, the father of three is setting his sights on the next landmark: "Now I've become a QC that is about as much as can be achieved in the legal profession short of becoming a full-time Crown Court judge. This is the next goal I am hoping to accomplish over the next few years."

If you would like to see the full article, click here and flick to page 1 and page 6 Read more »

Shots with style - fashion shoot for HIMISSHE brand

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to work with Dauson Bermtay when I photographed at one of his shoots. An extremely talented photographer, creative director and make-up artist, Dauson has recently ventured into clothing design due to his love of all things fashion. Born in the Philippines, Dauson is now living in Leeds and producing some exceptional fashion shots.

Creativity is key when working in fashion and Dauson has bucket-loads which shows in all of his innovative projects and the clothing range he has been working on. The 26-year-old is a man of many talents as he is also also a qualified nurse and has worked as an interior designer and artist in the past.

There were three styles of clothing to photograph on the day, each requiring a different set, lighting, make-up and styling. It was a fantastic experience photographing at the fashion shoot for Dauson's new brand HIMISSHE and I'm eager to see the fashion creations he produces in the future. You will find a selection of the shots I took below... Read more »

Well, fancy seeing you here

Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by. This will be the place to find scribblings about subjects that interest me, the work of others that I am inspired by and my written and photographic projects.

Aside from journalism and photography, I have a passion for film and TV. This interest in the production industry grew whilst I was working as a reporter on Televisual magazine and a deputy editor on Sony's The Producer magazine. Meeting directors, producers, VFX artists and all sorts of creative and technical folk was exhilarating and I felt privileged to get an insight into how they created their masterpieces. Read more »