As some of you know my passion for photography started at a very young age. I discovered it before learning how to read and write English fluently. Photographs helped me to see and learn to understand the world and the people around me. Thanks to one nurse who was kind enough to provide me with visual clues during my stays and let my parents know that what I wanted most when I got out of the hospital was a camera to capture my own images to share. I do not remember her name anymore but am forever grateful for the gifts that she gave me which helped to spark my passion.
When I was younger polio had struck my body and paralyzed almost all of my limbs. After coming to Canada as a refugee we were moved to Victoria after a brief stay in Edmonton. I went into surgeries almost immediately after arrival and didn’t understand what was going on at the time with no knowledge of the English language. I didn’t get to see my parents very much and when I did the visits were brief. For a time I believed that they had sold me because I was too hard and expensive to take care of. I remember feeling scared and like an alien of sorts because there was no one in the hospital that spoke my language. I watched how people moved around me, how they used their hands and body when communicating and learned to ape the words surrounding me. When that one nurse saw how much I was struggling to understand my environment she started to put up visual photo clues in my room to help me gain more insight. It was my first few steps in learning the powers of observation.
Over the years I’ve nurtured and utilized my powers of observation in various forms. In photography it has really helped me to tap into a model’s personality and bring that out in images. I truly feel that to be a good portrait photographer you must be able to appreciate people watching to some degree. You can learn a lot about capturing a person’s emotions if you take pause to simply observe.