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Inle Lake, Burma. Two sisters from the Padaung tribe pause from weaving to pose for a photograph.

Bagan, Burma. While working on a stylised form of travel photography, I set up a series of portraits that focused on two local fisherman brothers and used the landscape of Bagan.

Guilin, China. Travelling from Beijing to Shanghai, I trekked over the Dragon’s Backbone where I came across this woman from the Red Yao tribe. Their hair is considered sacred and the women of this tribe only cut it once in their lives before looking for a husband. I took this portrait beneath a waterfall within the mountains.

The Omo Valley, Ethiopia. A young girl from the Mursi tribe.

The Omo Valley, Ethiopia. A young woman from the Hamar tribe watches from the woodland as the men paint themselves in preparation for the bull jump.

The Omo Valley, Ethiopia. A young male from the Hamar tribe, being inducted to manhood on the day of his bull jump ceremony, leaps over the first bull.

The Omo Valley, Ethiopia. A portrait of the women from the Karo tribe, taken in their village on the banks of the Omo River.

The Omo Valley, Ethiopia. The Hamar tribe on the day of a bull jump. The women are building up energy as they dance in circles, each wearing large bells attached to their feet and their arms creating rhythm.

Story: Photography has always been the most natural extension of how I perceive the world around me. It was never a conscious choice to make it my career, it just became something I had to do – a way to process and interpret my experiences.

The decisive moment came during my first trip to Sri Lanka in 2004 when I was 19 years old. It was my first time outside of Europe, and I still remember stepping out onto the streets of Colombo – the vibrant colours, the smell of spices, people haggling and laughing – the scenes were filled with overwhelming intensity and a distinctive aesthetic. My instinct was to capture it all with photography, particularly the people – their emotions, their character and their energy.

I found that photography can be a more genuine reflection of human experiences than the written word. Since that first visit to Sri Lanka, I’ve embarked on an average of two big trips a year – all to countries I’ve never seen before. I want my firsthand experiences to be the foundation of my relationship with any new place, so that my intuitive emotional connection to it remains at the core of my work.

Despite the different cultural and social frameworks of all the places travel photography has taken me, it is possible to find unity between them. This common thread is human beings and the language we share – of emotions and of energy. I’m interested in capturing the spirit of people more than anything, and the varied cultures and environments of this earth act as backdrops to this vast and beautiful variety of human expression.

My instinct is still to pack my camera and travel to some obscure, unlikely corner of the planet to photograph how people live. By capturing their expressions, their hopes and their fears, we find out what it is that makes them unique, as well as what makes them essentially human.

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