I want to tell stories. But I want the people themselves to provide the narrative, and for that you must take a step back from the close-up. For me, the staged portrait becomes the last resort when I fail to connect with a person in a natural way or when becoming a fly on the wall or a human shadow is impossible. It is a shortcut, an excuse, and an exercise in frustration. I want to be invisible. I don't like people staring back at me. I'm basically shy and a bit reclusive, and life on the road has taken its toll — a carapace toughened by years of repetitive affection and leave-taking, rinse and repeat. I tend to not want to engage every person I photograph. I don't always want to ripple the waters.

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I don't like trying to converse through an interpreter while I'm watching intently for the gesture and expression that can define the moment and waiting for the light, color, and background to converge in some sort of harmony. I don't want anyone to say, "What do you want me to do?" I want to take them out of the studio and back into their lives. That's where the real story is.