Why indigenous people photography?
When I travel to exotic destinations I like to remember that it is I who is the foreigner not those whom I visit. Mingling in unfamiliar cultures has always fascinated me. Learning the way people have survived and flourished over the ages and how distinctly their culture has evolved from my own intrigues me. I am captivated by the similarities between geographically isolated cultures – convergent evolution of techniques and lifestyles. I am distressed however by the rapid and overwhelming cultural loss on our planet as we are homogenized into a single, amorphous mass. I see my role as a conservation photographer to include human culture and traditional way of life. I am documenting what I can, it will be a record somewhere down the line and, as has proved the case already with some of my work, has become a reference for the very tribes themselves who are using the images to return to their roots. Some of the tribes and indigenous cultures I have had the privilege and honour to photograph around the world include the: Huaorani, Cofan, Quichua, Shuar, Chagras, Aymara, Yagan, Wai Wai, Dai, Miao, Yuayao, Bai, Hani, Aini, Naxi, Sani, Black & Duli Yi, Yi & Nosi Yi, Han, Dulong, Tibetan, Yupik, Tsaatan, Mongol, Sami, Antandroy, Bara, Betsileo, Mahafaly, Sakalava, Vezo, Pygmies, Himba, Zulu, Herero, Gujarati, Rabari, Apatani, Naga, Nyshy, Adigallong, Hill Miri, Mishing and Khasi. My photographs from this genre have been used in many books, including my own such as Spirit of the Huaorani, The Origin of the Waorani and Chagras, Ecuador’s Andean Cowboys as well as in magazines such as American Cowboys and Americas.