"In the many odd experiences I had in photographing strangers on the streets of Sydney, I realised
that each person, whoever they may be; has a mask or masks which they essentially show the
world. My desire to break down the masks was difficult. I soon realized that my best photos were
the ones where built up a small rapport with my subjects and got them to trust me enough to work
with me in showing what I wanted to portray. And whether or not they intended to, this meant
that in some way, they were posing for me even if they were pretending not to."
I was inspired very much by Weegee and Mary Ellen Mark, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Robert Doisneau who seeked to, through their photographs and using varying photography philosophies, tell truths about events or people or things.
Here are some images that tell me some truths or stories:
*Images taken from respective photographers' published work or websites.
I must also mention the inspiration that came from my photography teacher Jon Lewis, inspiring not just through his own photography but through his enthusiasm, passion and humour, not to mention his activism in anti-whaling, promoting the detrimental effects of climate change, and of course being one of the founders of Greenpeace Australia. A big cheers and thanks to Jon Lewis.
My love of portraiture led me to taking photos of the homeless and buskers on the streets of Sydney. I would talk to these people, bring them cupcakes, give them some change, and tell them about my projects, and in return I got their stories, some hugs and smiles, and the chance to take their portraits.
*Photographs are mine.
I went to high tea at the QVB a few months ago. At the end of the occasion I took some left over little cakes and tarts with me in a box for a homeless man on Pitt st I'd seen while walking to the QVB that morning. The people I was with reacted in a way that admired this act, as if it would have been difficult for one of them to do it, even if they had wanted to. I guess maybe, I just don't see any boundaries. Nothing about handing a box of delicasies to a homeless man frightens me. But I guess people (even kind people) do feel a certain amount of apprehension. Which is maybe why I like talking to these people. Taking their pictures. I don't see a whole lot of difference between them and me, just possibly a series of unlucky circumstances. And I think everyone has a desire to "tell their story". To feel heard is one of few fundamental human needs along with food and shelter. I hope my photography helps tell their story.
As part of my pozible project, I'm hoping to be able to print some of these on the Big Fag Press.