"Isn't this just "Poverty Porn"?
I really hope not. Anytime there is a disconnect between an affluent audience and an underprivileged subject this phrase is used. It took me over a year to examine my motivations behind even wanting to photograph this area, and almost another year to decide to share them. My goal is to educate, not exploit.
"I find these images confronting, i don't want to look at them".
You don't have to. I get it - it's not for everyone. But photographs have the amazing ability to show information and situations in a way words cannot. Through photographs we learn, we see the world differently, and sometimes we discover the world isn't a very fair place. Through images like Huynh Cong Ut, Napalm (1972) and Stanley Forman's Fire on Marlboro Street (1975), change was affected and the result of being shocked was reform and sweeping change. Ignoring the unpleasantness in the world won't make it go away.
"Hang on - don't you normally take photos of kids and families and stuff?"
I sure do. And i love what i do, and am so grateful to all of my clients for allowing me to capture images of them. But photojournalism has been the love of almost a lifetime, and whereas my family portraits are for families stories through generations to come, i hope this series becomes a story shared far and wide - because without awareness and knowledge, we have no chance of bettering who and what we are.