Project participants

All of the potential participants in the project I have met before and made contact with on numerous occasions. This makes the process much easier, since they already know me and I have established a rapport with them. This is probably the most important and time-consuming part of any humanist project, and one that deserves more attention. I have read or heard photographers talk about using their personality, and I really feel that a camera without a personality behind it is not able to get those intimate and captivating shots that so engage viewers. To hell with HCB and the decisive moment; if you’re working with people, you need to have a decent personality to begin with. I always start with the people, just talking to them. I take along a notebook and pencil to the preliminary meeting, but never a camera. I want them to identify with me first as a person, and later as a maker of pictures, in much the same way as I relate to them as people first, and then whatever later – be it artist, musician, actor or person with disability. Without the personal connection there is not much point to the exercise in my opinion. I made a long list and began to meet people from the disability centre ARDI, where we had made initial contact.

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