For me, life should be about new personal experiences. Meeting and befriending people has always intrigued me, and if used seriously, the camera grants you access to people wherever you find yourself, whether on the other side of the globe, or in your own community. It's always gratifying to meet and photograph an interesting stranger, especially if you've gone a bit outside your normal comfort zone! The camera is the perfect instrument for that engagement. Its function and purpose is understood by all. To photograph people with their consent and involvement requires me to request rather than dictate, to interpret instead of define and to participate as well as observe. I try to communicate that I'm genuinely intrigued with them, then ask for a moment of intimacy: a photograph. I work with them to produce an image that, hopefully, will say something important and revealing about them, and possibly, something about their culture, as well. With perseverance, and a bit of luck, I will come away from a chance meeting with my subject better informed and feeling empowered, and hopefully, with an insightful, evocative photograph. It works for me!
I'm after an atmosphere of trust in my portraits. I want the subject to reveal a bit about themselves for the camera lens, so we need to form a quick bond - starting with that eye contact. But the question is always: how do I turn my curiosity and empathy for a subject into a unique and consistent vision that communicates some universal truth?