PORTRAITURE AS EXPERIENCE
Portraits are ultimately constructions, the result of decisions made by the photographer. Whether to focus on the face or include the surroundings. . . to elicit an expression or capture the one I see. . . to light certain things and leave other things in darkness - these are some of the decisions I made when taking these portraits. As I thought about how I could create respectful and honest interpretations of each of these women, I had a strong desire to communicate the warmth and generosity with which they welcomed me into their homes.
I found that I was meeting women whose histories were complex and in some cases personally or politically difficult, and they appeared to have become strong and resilient as a result. In the photographs, I wanted to communicate this strength and the richness of their experience. My approach to these portraits evolved as the project continued. I tried to become more transparent and more responsive to the person and place I was photographing, and I was rewarded with a new understanding of portraiture as experience, rather than merely the creation of a likeness. I am grateful for the opportunity to have photographed and to have been inspired by these nine women.