I believe photography should exist in a symbiotic condition that mutually benefits the photographer, the viewer, and the person being photographed. Instead of just “taking pictures,” for which the very definition implies a unidirectional accumulation of value, I want to photograph in such a way that not only brings dignity to the subject, but also produces a positive change, either individually, or collectively, and informs the viewer, initiating them into an experience through someone else’s eyes.
There are innumerous deplorable human conditions that humankind endures. And, although I recognize and respect my duty as a photojournalist to describe these events or conditions in an honest and transparent way, nevertheless I am not a robot. I cannot be indifferent. My human tendencies cannot be divorced from the process in which I interpret the world photographically. How and what I choose to photograph—the motivations that inspire me to pick up a camera, are the direct result (a butterfly effect) of my lifelong synthesis of ideas and experiences. It is therefore dishonest to assume the ability to photograph objectively, at least in the strict sense of the word.
I am drawn to instances that defy the stereotypical. Catching an orphaned child in a moment of laughter describes much more than her condition, it speaks of her courage, her truth--her beautiful soul. The reality of her humanity becomes tangible, something that your heart can feel, and reveals hope.
I enjoy working with NGOs because I think their heart is in the right place. I am deeply inspired when I see people working together to better the human condition and I want to be a part of that. Every single person on the planet has a story that is worth begin told. If I can reveal only a sentence of that story through a photograph of them, I have gained success. But if that sentence were to touch someone into making a difference, then indeed, I have accomplished my goal.