Many of these photographs came about through chance encounters during my travels in recent years. When I’m visiting and taking pictures of a place, I never miss an opportunity to strike up a conversation. It’s fun and often interesting too. When you’re off travelling in other countries, you pay more attention to the individuals you come across – you’re generally less interested in people at home. Difference sparks curiosity. These photos are the result of this new-found empathy; of time spent together, attempts at communication, and the smiling willingness to become your next subject. On other occasions, I’ve captured candid photographs of people from afar. In those cases, their immersion in their surroundings described some aspect of their lives. All these shots represent the everyday lives of humble people in the East of the world. I haven’t pursued this genre everywhere; respect for people’s natural shyness in Morocco, and strict prohibitions in the Emirates, meant I focused on other subjects there. A sporadic visual counterpoint is provided by commissioned portraits of friends and acquaintances – female sitters only – who I shoot using soft, natural lighting. The brief tends to be “A good picture”; all my clients have been happy with the results so far.