I am part French and part Persian, born in Paris, France 1968. Shortly after my brief stay in France my family moved to Iran and in 1977 to Virginia a few miles outside of Washington DC. I started photographing when I was 11. During the early years I struggled trying to understand the medium as a whole. It wasn’t enough to simply “like photographing”. There had to be more.
Several years later I had the opportunity to take a couple of art history classes being taught by curator Jane Livingston. It was those brief semesters that introduced me to the history of photography, street and documentary photography. I began to understand why I wanted to take photographs. I learned of the emotions that a photographer goes through in order to understand his/her subject. I studied photographs by Avedon, Klein, Penn, Weegee, Clark, Stieglitz… I was taken by the artists from The Ashcan School, who sought to document everyday life in New York City at the turn of the century, capturing it in realistic and unglamorous paintings. There were poems that left me with images long after the book was put down. It was then that I fell in love with Pictorialism and alternative processes, but I didn’t get much of a chance to work with the processes. Many years passed before I decided to try alternative processes again. My search lead me to John Coffer where I learned the wet plate collodion process. The experience of being and photographing on John’s farm pushed me into a world that I never imagined. I looked at pictorial images, alternative processes and all other images in awe and with new understanding. One of the biggest gifts of making photographs is that you never stop learning.
Photography is as much a physical process as it is a creative one. The wet plate collodion process has enabled me to be involved with every image and my subject from the moment I set up my camera and materials. It is a method that is both beautiful and expressive. It is slow, it requires patience and most of all it requires appreciation and respect for the process and the subject. The process has enabled me to let go of all preconceived ideas of a photograph and to admire its fragile beauty.
I want to show the slow lingering soft beauty of my subjects.
I want to create images that are witness to our world.