Southeast Asia Portraits, 2015
I captured these images during my travels through Southeast Asia. Seeking to connect with the region’s culture and people through photography, I carried a collapsible white reflector that I used as a backdrop to add depth and definition to my subjects.
Each portrait that I took represents a human bond. I love the images, but the most rewarding part was getting to know each subject. I dined with them, listened to their stories and shadowed their lifestyles. I even played music with one of them. I did this all to help them feel comfortable in front of my camera. I wanted to show these wonderful people to the world in all of their glory, because a true portrait is equal parts heart, soul and appearance.
The best way to portray someone in a new light is to remove them from their environment. By bringing these people out of their homes and daily routines and into my lens, I was able to show that everyone – no matter how isolated – can identify with two common themes: hope and humor. I’m inspired by the combination of those elements and their roles in humanity.
These portraits are the product of mystery, not loneliness. Each subject expressed what they see in themselves, and the resulting image is what I see in them. The beauty is that it all matches up.
I wanted to remove people from their environment in order to frame them in a new light. I want to show that all people, no matter how sad, grieving, or lonely, have some hope. I’m interested in the combination of humor and hope in humanity.
The portraits are coming from mystery, not coming from loneliness. Within each portrait, there is a depth of individuality. Every subject is expressing something about themselves. These photographs are about what I see in that person. I allow people to play with emotions, and each person has a valve of emotion that is waiting to come out!