What I believe
I consider myself a feminist.
However, I don't like to use the slogan "empowering women". Not so much because it's a cliché at this point, but because I don't believe in reducing people to their identities, gender or otherwise. It's the irreducible particular human being behind the general identity that needs to be empowered. And the very act of empowerment requires overcoming precisely the expectations prescribed by the socially imposed identity, including that of feminism.
And that—overcoming social expectations—is kind of my whole thing. That's why I try not to "make" a photo by imposing my own expectations and ideals onto the person whom I'm photographing but try my best to see the person as the human being that they are and respond to that seeing.
I don't like to use a formula to take portraits, because I think once a formula is in place, the human being is abstracted. The abstraction is for the art, some will say. But for me, any abstraction is objectification.
Of course I am not trying to say that what I see is the ultimate objective reality of the person that I am photographing. But at least that is my honest reaction to a real human being. That may be as much as I can hope for because I, too, am a human.