If they say the eyes are the window to the soul, then a portrait has got to be a whole chapter on it.
I personally take portraits because they expose me to parts of life experiences I would have otherwise never seen. I take portraits because they open me to a human connection I would have otherwise never shared. I take portraits because they teach me about people and their stories in ways I would have otherwise never understood.
A good portrait tells us about life. A portrait shows us life. A portrait peels back layers of our thick skin and picks at our crumbling walls. A good portrait breaks down barriers and reveals details of our stories that would have otherwise never been written.
For some reason, when I travel and shoot portraits, they hit me harder. The impact runs deeper. Perhaps it’s because of the different culture and side life that I am able to see. Perhaps it’s the language barrier that blocks so much, that I’m able to understand and appreciate the nonverbal communication so much more. Or perhaps it’s the foreign stories that I’ve never heard that I’m able to see so clearly through the eyes of my exotic subjects. Whatever it is, these portraits move me…more than any novel could.
All shot in Nicaragua, March, 2011.