While documenting Nigeria's oil industry for his book Curse of the Black Gold (Powerhouse), Ed Kashi discovered the Trans Amadi Slaughter, an abattoir that had sprung up after petroleum-related pollution destroyed local fisheries. The photographer spent three days shooting the grim conditions and young workers. "It was so visually and emotionally overwhelming, it took all my senses to figure out how to make a great picture," says Kashi. But he found it, snapping this stirring shot of a 14-year-old carrying a goat to be roasted over a pit of burning tires. After the picture appeared in National Geographic, one reader was so moved that she raised money for the boy to return to school. "When a photo inspires someone to action," says Kashi, "I've done my job."
• Training: BFA in photojournalism from Syracuse University
• Documentary projects: Aging and health care in America, the Iraqi Kurds, Pakistani culture
• Inspired by: People's stories and issues "that stir my soul"
• Best advice: Know what you're really good at and focus on that. You can't do everything well.
• Website: edkashi.com