THE BEAUTY AND THE TRUTH
I have colleagues who do an all-important job: they take us to locations which most of us wouldn’t want to go voluntarily and show us situations which most of us would simply prefer to close our eyes to because they document destruction, disaster and misery. Their images are a call to action oftentimes with the goal to make a difference.
As a visual storyteller, entrepreneur and social designer it’s also my intention to make a difference. While I also photograph refugees in camps, orphans in orphanages and veterans in hospitals, I don’t focus my camera on destruction, disaster and misery. I focus on BEAUTY. However, the question is: how can beauty make a difference?
I’m not saying it’s the only way, I’m just saying it’s MY way: I've always been attracted and sometimes I’ve been downright overpowered by beauty. I believe we all desire beauty; we all need beauty.
But what IS beauty?
There are many definitions. One which speaks from the soul is a thousand years old: "beauty is truth" and comes from the Saint Augustinus himself. I actually like to take it further: there is no beauty without truth - and no truth without beauty.
During my photoshoots it happens again and again that people put themselves in a scene, have specific poses in mind or hide behind their habitual ones. This can be very effective and sell well. However I don’t look for photoshopped beauties with perfect proportions and smooth skin, as we are used to seeing in glamour magazines. I look for the moments in which people forget about their masks: that’s when we see exceptionally beautiful, vulnerable and unique faces.
In a world of silicon, botox and plastic surgery some of us have lost our natural access to our own true beauty. This weakens us, makes us depend on the judgement of others, and makes us infinitely manipulable - not only by the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.
To rediscover the access to our true beauty is almost a revolutionary act: it empowers us to see the beauty in ourselves as well as in others, to feel empathy, to spread love and to establish peace on this beautiful planet.
If my photographs are a reminder that beauty is our true nature, then I have reached my goal. My photographs become a call to action not only to make a difference but to BE the difference.