This isn’t about photography; it’s not about what kind of camera I use, the lens, the f-stop or the lighting. It’s not about galleries or competitions or rules. It’s about who I am. Isn’t it always about that?
The psychologist R. D. Laing, wrote
“I cannot experience your experience. You cannot experience my experience. We are both invisible men. All men are invisible to one another. Experience used to be called The Soul. Experience as invisibility of man to man is at the same time more evident than anything. Only experience is evident. Experience is the only evidence.”
Our experiences reside within our own consciousness, and because our own consciousness cannot be experienced by anyone else, we are thus invisible to each other. Our experiences of others are solitary and unique. And yet they are still evidence of who we are.
I take pictures of people as much because it gives me the opportunity to engage with other people as I do to make their picture. By engaging, particularly with a stranger, I have the chance to learn something about them and in doing so, I learn something about me and this helps me make sense of who I am. I long since came to terms with what happened to me as a child, and I don’t for one moment feel remotely sorry for myself or angry. But what I do carry with me, is the perpetual need to understand others and myself and I find that photographing people is the most rewarding way I’ve found of doing this.
A friend and fellow photographer once said to me that the art in any portrait in in the space between the photographer and the subject; in the questions that that space leaves unanswered and the tension that it creates. These street portraits aim to explore that space from the perspective of the 'politics of experience'.