Before coming to live in New Zealand in 2006, I worked as a social worker and photographer in the Philippines, documenting the lives of the country’s indigenous people. Working with them I learned to seek the simplicity of the human face and form through a camera lens. Indigenous people have a purity and lack of artifice about them that is uncommon in today’s world of the selfie.
I like my photos to be as uncomplicated as my subjects. Except for very minimal adjustments, I don’t enhance my images in any way. Preferring to make use of available light (no flash) and the basic rules of composition sans any photo-ehancing software, my resulting portraits capture my subjects in unguarded moments, their personalities pixelated for eternity.
My love of photography was influenced by photo essays in books and magazines I read as a child. I daydreamed of far-off lands and exotic cultures, hoping to document them through a camera someday. I want to capture people and places as my eyes see them, without ‘rose-tinted glasses’. Doing this means I have to think fast sometimes – evaluate light, or stoop, crouch, or bend in the most uncomfortable way to get the right composition. I like doing all the work before I click the shutter, not after.