Hands grip tight to the candy-coloured carousel horse, face beaming with excitement, hijab billowing like a superhero's cape. It's not the typical image you see of a young Muslim girl – and that's exactly why it's one of Canon Ambassador Gulshan Khan's favourite photographs. "Muslims, particularly women and girls, are not always depicted as the expansive human beings we really are. I use 'we' because this is my own community," explains the South African photojournalist. "We see so much suffering and 'othering' in images from the African continent. And here is this girl so full of joy, photographed with dignity."
Gulshan's example reminds us that the camera is powerful. The pictures you create can perpetuate one-dimensional ways of looking at the world or they can reveal something more. This is especially true when it comes to photographing cultures or communities that are not your own, whether that's in the neighbourhood around the corner or somewhere you've travelled thousands of miles to reach. For Gulshan, this is part of the job. As an independent photojournalist who has been published in National Geographic, The New York Times and The Guardian, and a former Agence France Presse (AFP) freelancer, Gulshan regularly takes pictures of people and places in her home country and beyond. Here, she explains how you can create striking but sensitive cultural photographs.