When I got my first DSLR camera 10 years ago, I remembered being very hesitant to approach people for photographs. I have also never photographed people without their knowledge, because somehow, I had this idea that it was rude.
However, over time, as my confidence grew, I begin to realise how useful the camera can be, as a tool to “break the ice” between me and the strangers I meet. Looking back at my early images, I realised that “something” was missing.
Sure, in every photo there was the “Face”, but there was no “Soul”.
Most of the people I photograph are strangers I meet during my travels. As such, I do not always have the luxury of time to get to know them before taking their photo. I asked myself, “How much of an essence in a person can I capture, in the short span of time I spend with them? Can I really capture more than their faces? Can I capture their personalities?”
With that in mind, I took steps to improve on my interpersonal skills. I became braver and bolder in my interactions. Before long, communicating with people became second nature to me. I began to amass a large collection of images of the beautiful people I met. Not only do I remember each of them, but I can also recall what happened during those encounters.
I started sharing these images and the stories behind them on my social media accounts. It was here that friends and strangers encouraged and persuaded me to make a book, to showcase some of my best images. About a year ago, I finally summoned enough courage to embark on this book-making journey.
After going through a lot of hiccups and disappointments, I finally took delivery of my books from my printer recently. I will be sharing more on what motivated me to make this book, and introduce you to its contents, in my next few posts.
For now, here is an image of “Stories & Souls” (#StoriesAndSoulsByHannisze), sitting proudly on our bookshelves, amongst some of our favourite books and memorabilia.
This book is designed by the talented designer behind GoodCatchDesign, without whom I would not have dared enter into this daunting book-making process. It was edited first by my lovely friend, Debs Lloyds (an author in her own right), and again, by my meticulous niece, Samantha Yong (a gifted writer and photographer). I am so blessed and grateful to have them on board this project, and for their invaluable contribution in making this book a reality for me.
“Stories & Souls” is sold online and can be shipped worldwide. If you are interested in getting a copy, just click on "Book" on the Homepage of this website, which will lead you directly to the Shopping Page.