Most of the photo essays here are projects that span years in the making. Some, like the Memories of the Sacred or In Search of the Buddha span decades. Then there are the odd ones that are the result of very short, intense bursts of work, eg Semana Santa or Yangon. They were either published as a whole in large format books or in parts over time in magazines.
All of them stem from a personal sense of involvement with the subject, some perhaps more powerfully so than others. I tend to let the situation dictate how I shoot it, and I have always believed more in being “captured by the moment” rather than “capturing the moment”.
Having worked with film and digital, monochrome and colour (as well as various permutations thereof), not to mention different format cameras, I do recognize that my approach can be varied. I’ve never felt myself to be a “specialist”, which of course could be seen as a disadvantage. One rejection note I got from a magazine editor early on in my career said that I lacked “a signature style”. It could quite possibly be (still) true, but I don’t really care as it is much more about the image itself and what it conveys than having to be a “Rio Helmi”. And a photo essay in the end gets its strength from the combination of images which take the viewer into and around the subject. Even a strong lead shot needs support from other photos in order to tell the story