Yes, for both projects I was very immersed in the community. The process was very organic, and I returned again and again, over several years, building a relationship over time. Nobody ever forgets about the camera, but because it always accompanied me, people expected photographs to be made. I always tried to be quite clear with my intentions. If people were uncomfortable about certain things, then, of course, I listened. But, surprisingly, people were mostly happy to see me – I think a lot of people are just happy to know that someone cares, that someone will listen to them and try to understand their story. And I suppose that is something I’m understanding now, after finishing the work.
So much of these projects are about life in between the photographs, so much experience and knowledge that the photographs hint at. I have a lot of diary entries and pieces of recordings that give more of this context and I am always thinking of ways of incorporating these. To create more of a novel, but it’s difficult as it becomes a very complex exchange of information. This is one of the challenges of working in such an intimate way.