I don't roam around with a camera and never did. I took pictures in spurts, for my books, for some assignments or on special occasions. Like people who take out their cameras for Christmas and birthdays. Each time, like them, probably, I feel itвЂ™s the first time and as if I would have to relearn the moves. Luckily, it comes pretty fast, like riding a bike.
The New York book was a visual diary and it was also kind of personal newspaper. I wanted it to look like the news. I didnвЂ™t relate to European photography. It was too poetic and anecdotal for meвЂ¦ the kinetic quality of new york, the kids, dirt, madnessвЂ”I tried to find a photographic style that would come close to it. So I would be grainy and contrasted and black. Id crop, blur, play with the negatives. I didnвЂ™t see clean technique being right for New York. I could imagine my pictures lying in the gutter like t
I was a make believe ethnographer: treating New Yorkers like an explorer would treat Zulus - searching for the rawest snapshot, the zero degree of photography.
I have always loved the amateur side of photography, automatic photographs, accidental photographs with uncentered compositions, heads cut off, whatever. I incite people to make their self-portraits. I see myself as their walking photo booth.
Sometimes, I'd take shots without aiming, just to see what happened. I'd rush into crowds - bang! bang! ... It must be close to what a fighter feels after jabbing and circling and getting hit, when suddenly there's an opening, and bang! Right on the button. It's a fantastic feeling.
I have always done the opposite of what I was trained to do... Having little technical background, I became a photographer. Adopting a machine, I do my utmost to make it malfunction. For me, to make a photograph is to make an anti-photograph.