Over the course of working professionally for 30 years, it has been easy to imagine having been born into completely different circumstances in which I would have been shaped by radically different environments, cultures and worldviews. Indeed, I know that I have been privileged and fortunate to have been born into an affluent culture with tremendous opportunities.
I believe that it is especially important for people in our society to understand other cultures and the enormous difficulties that people in other countries face daily in order to simply survive. The human condition is wrought with great uncertainty and suffering and yet, the human spirit and hope for a better life can grow even stronger in the face of adversity. I am constantly inspired by the profound fortitude of people living in difficult conditions and the empathy and commitment of the many people who aid and give counsel to the those less fortunate.
I believe that is my moral obligation to use whatever talents I have as a photographer to transcend our limited worldviews and to help bridge the gap between cultures of affluence and poverty. Since photography is a universal language, I hope that my images will move viewers to respond not only with empathy, but also with action. I try to photograph people with compassion and dignity in the hope of communicating our interrelatedness. In the words of Sebastaio Salgado, whose work I greatly admire. “If you take a picture of a human that does not make him noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things.”