Street Portraits

My original passion for photography was to capture wildlife and landscapes. The goal was always to capture images without any people in them and in fact I would often go to great lengths using techniques like multi-image stacking and filtered long exposures to remove people from the frame. However, when I moved to Asia, I realized that such an approach would be futile. Living in Hong Kong meant being surrounded by people absolutely all of the time; Mongkok is still the most densely populated place on the planet. Instead I started paying much more attention to people than ever before. While I had just relocated from New York, so no stranger to crowded places, a western face was still a novelty in the more remote parts of Asia.

And my attention turned more to understanding people rather than chasing animals or spending large amounts of time waiting for landscapes to have the desired lighting. And so I challenged myself to capture the portraits of people I met. Some were encounters for the briefest of moments: a smile, followed by a silent gesture towards my camera to ask if they minded their picture taken. Other encounters lasted longer: I would often observe respectfully as the subjects went about their activities, while they were often keen to demonstrate how they had refined their skills to be experts in their trade.