Someone must be able to look into your eyes before you can truly look into theirs.

The photographs and experiences here depict the human journey. I hope they stimulate an internal conversation about gratitude, hope, human dignity, and the power of authentic connection.

I met these people over 20 years. They live in Afghanistan, Syria, Rwanda, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, India, Palestine and from Tibet. They come from vastly different life experiences and offer richly diverse perspectives on our world and ourselves.

I came across these kids while walking through a bombed-out neighborhood in Kabul. There was sadness and suspicion in their eyes. Then I made a fart sound with my mouth.

 

The top photo shows the boys reaction to a stranger. The bottom photo is their reaction to me. Making a connection was not about making them laugh; it was about my being real, being open, being vulnerable.

My work is not about showing someone that I care. I am sharing experiences with people in hope they get a catalytic jolt from it  That I see them, and despite their incomprehensible challenges, that I recognize their dreams and fears and resilience. It is in these moments that the interaction shifts to a more tender place.

Imagination overrides circumstance in this vacant hallway at the Migrant School in Hebei Province, China.

If we discount people as too different from ourselves, we predispose ourselves to think they don’t have anything useful to teach us. They do.

The camera is there to start a conversation. When my vulnerability and openness give way to a growing light in their eyes, the moment shifts to a more primal and authentic connection.