Some highlights from the projects of 2016
To me there is nothing more satisfying to be a witness or a protagonist in those moments that leave a memory for yourself or others. Whether its witnessing a birth in a tent in the terrible aftermath of a Typhoon or just being a welcome distraction to someones day. For example these ladies were working in the rice fields in Bhutan. We had seen them from a distance away so we crossed the fields to investigate. As we approach they ignore me. I start photographing them and basically begin to be a distraction (something I do well). After a while curiosity takes over and they start talk talking to me through my guide asking what I was doing there and what do I want. I said I want nothing except to spend a little time with them and learn about them. In those moments of sharing you get little random tidbits that make like special. One tidbit that stood out is that they like smear cow manure on faces of any love interest. Just to show if you love me you can handle this....
As we left they shouted "I love you!" My daughter who was with me says to me. "I am going to tell mommy!" I told her, I think they just want to smear cow manure on my face.
I like to think that in those few minutes we spent together they will have a strong memory of the encounter. It certainly did for me.
Buddies for life, Escola Bola (ball school). On our way up to the top of favela Santa Marta Rio, Brazil.
There is nothing better than getting people to smile and enjoy the moment.
Photographing in a foreign country is a challenge. Most of my work is in the documentary/reportage style. Basically photographing in the moment. These days though my projects are in that style but with models, wardrobe, picked locations. So it's not so much photographing in the moment anymore, but "planned in the moment" images, it is certainly more involved than just showing up with a camera, and making do with what is there. Not to mention to keep it feeling serendipitous while controlling everything. That is the challenge.
I went to Rio with a long shot list, and a mandate. Show modern Brazil and its people, living a healthy lifestyle. We found models in Rio (yes, its true it seems like almost everyone is beautiful there), locations, and had to plan shoots while on the run. It was tough, but with Rio and it's people as an inspiration, not to mention some great help on the ground, it was a pleasure.
It's not just clicking the shutter, it's the journey to get to that moment to take the photo is what defines a photographer.