I've always felt a little uncomfortable when called upon to explain what my work is about. I mean, the pictures should speak for themselves, right? You either get it or you don't. Equally though, I have often walked around a gallery and wondered what the artist meant to say, and wished he'd left some accessible notes.
Let it suffice then to say that I generally characterise my photography as travel portraiture. I try to rise above the merely documentary, and to negotiate the delicate territory we might call personal space. I photograph people close up, eye to eye, as equals; there is no sneaking around with telephoto lenses, but an honest interpersonal contract which has to be brokered with wit and friendship.
I work alone - no production team, no staging, no posing, no artificial lights - just me and my camera, and real people going about their daily lives. If I have to squat in the sand and share a bidi (cheap Indian cigarette) with a camel trader in order to earn his trust, then consider it done. In return my subjects lay themselves bare to detailed scrutiny - every wrinkle, every hint of expression. Their generosity has to be earned. I judge my pictures a success if I can feel my sitter's character spilling forth from the print; or if I have become so accepted that he appears oblivious to my presence.
There are no judgements implicit in my work. My pictures are about the human condition, the differences and connections between people, both because of and irrespective of the physical and cultural distance which separates us. It is for the viewer to consider who has wealth and who is poor; who is educated and who knows best; whose image jars, and whose is beautiful.