When my parents gave me my first camera at age eleven, I promptly made a photo of my Aunt Doris from a low perspective. I learned from the result that women do not want pictures of the insides of their noses.
Aside from such childhood exploits, I have been photographing people with intention since around 1998. I think I became serious about it one day in 2006 when I made a picture of an indentured labourer in a brick factory near Lahore, Pakistan — a picture that to me was haunting. Had I made permanent something below the surface of his face? Was it my imagination? Maybe. But I knew I had to do it again.
Since then, I have been looking to make photographs that allow some subliminal insight into the person before my lens. In the process I have found myself helping people to delight in themselves, to see what makes their friends and family love them, and somehow to see their own strength, wisdom, resilience, boldness, even dreams — all in a photograph, made just for them.
And that's what I'm all about.
(photo: Sylviane Silicani)