At times even the most eloquent of words manage to establish barriers between themselves and what they seek to represent.  Photographic images at their best are capable of tearing down these barriers, for even though photographs do not represent reality, they do represent a yardstick with which a viewer can measure the distance between the subjective representations of the photographer’s vision of the world with his own version of it.  At the same time, compelling photographs may induce us to verbally communicate and reveal our emotional responses to that which has been viewed.

     After a quarter of a century of making images of people from many distant corners of the world I have concluded that the most powerful images are often those that are not inundated with specific details but are universal in their message.  This is likely rooted in the fact that all humanity yearns for the basic essentials of life: food, shelter, love and the right to propagate and stake one’s claim of succession in the passing tides of succeeding generations.

     I have often been asked how I mange to establish such close rapport with the peoples I photograph, even though I often find myself in parts of the world where I share no common language or cultural affinity with my photographic subjects. Quite simply, I have learned that the best way to communicate with others is with your ears, as well as with your mouth.  A photographer of people must always remind himself that the reason why he was born with two ears but only one mouth is because he should spend at least twice as much time listening as he does talking. In addition to listening, observing and studying the actions of my photographic subjects I have developed the art of communicating with words that need not be uttered.  These unspoken dialogues between myself and those I photograph have permitted me to dissect away at the visual chaos presented, enabling me to portray the essence of that reveled-the beauty in the simplicity of life.

     I have succumbed to the fact that the best I may achieve in my photographic pursuits is to in some meaningful way attempt to heighten and accentuate the details of the everyday realities of life which are presented to me.  I stress that the resulting images, derived from my sojourns are interpretations based on my personal, social and visual interactions with the human and non-human elements of the countries visited.  The viewer should at all times keep in mind that a photograph is a subjective recording of the raw materials of truth presented to the photographer.

     The depiction of people at the crossroads of their existence has always excited my photographic eye.  From the first time I took camera to hand this has remained an area of interest that has pricked the sides of my photographic intent.  I love the hidden and exposed wisdom of their life stories.  I have encountered many people around the world who have spoken of their trials and tribulations and even though many were close to facing the final curtain of their lives, I have so often been amazed by their universal expressions of compassion and hopes for humanity.

     Indeed, if the old represent where we came from then the young must suggest where we are going.  Working with these two extremes of the human scale I feel that photography allows the unique opportunity of recording the flowers of yesterday and the seedlings of our tomorrows.  In photographing children I am always forced to look into their eyes and reveal the sincerity of my intentions.  Children are extremely perceptive.  Their finely attuned senses are much too astute to allow them to be mislead.  In conversing wit them I forget the chase of the “decisive moment”.  I have learned to slow down and allow the moments to present themselves in all their visual glory within the temporal framework of our encounters.  In photographing children I have had to present myself in such a fashion that they resigned themselves to say, “Okay, here I am, as I am”.  The rest has then been up to me.

     People are conditioned by their own cultural values.  However, I have experienced time and time again that when I have left my preconceived notions at my doorstep and participated in the unspoken dialogues shared between men and women of all persuasions that I have been treated to the grandest spectacles-the universal verses of humanity.