Integrity. That’s the word that comes to mind when I look at beautiful, honest, compassionate documentary images. As I cut my teeth in a digital photographic world, my love for classic documentary photography grew into an obsession. Images from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastião Salgado and James Nachtwey flooded my waking thoughts. But as I grew as a photographer, my love for my subjects began to grow even more. It became very clear to me that documenting people’s lives is an intimate exchange of trust, sacrifice and joy.
In early 2011 God began to draw me to Ethiopia. I had several connections with a small ministry called Indigenous Outreach International that provided for the needs of almost 50 Ethiopian ministers and missionaries, as well as over 130 children. It seemed so clear. I began documenting the lives of this small group of Ethiopian missionaries and their families in the classic tradition of the photographers I’d admired for years. Armed with an old Leica and a bag full of black and white film, I began submitting myself to a simpler tradition of photography as I documented the steadfastness and strength of the Ethiopian spirit. My hope is to continue photographing these families for the next 10 years in order to capture a glimpse of the hope and dignity in my dear brothers and sisters. These beautiful people have much to teach us if we would just stop, listen and see.