Over the last five years, I have been making portraits of people from different parts of the world, in contexts where they are at home, either literally or generally. I have photographed Cubans, Northern Californian architects and designers, ranchers in Southern California, Tanzanian subsistence farmers, Burundian refugees, my own family, and now Liberian refugees who have been resettled to Phoenix, Arizona.
I want to foster greater compassion and understanding between people. I also want more people to have the experience I have had of seeing first hand what it looks like to live as a subsistence farmer in sub-Saharan Africa and what it looks like to live as a successful architect in Sausalito, California. Most people don’t get the opportunity to step outside of their class, their location and their cultural identity. I want to give people that experience, because it is confusing, and for one thing, I need other people to help me figure out how to think about it. I think pictures have the power to move people—emotionally, intellectually, spiritually—and that’s what I am hoping to do.