Dundee, Scotland 2018.
Diane Arbus once said “You see someone on the street, and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw.”
In some ways, she’s right. People are flawed, we all are, we struggle and our difficulties in our lives are sometimes written in our face, our posture, our troubled minds.
I walk around town, looking, observing, noticing and rather than flaws, I see beauty, I see other people, humans who, like me, like us all try to make as much sense out of this “being human” as we can. With no guide book or instruction manual, we meander through stages and situations, circumstances smashing into us like a freight train, often unexpectedly rendering us incapable of making choices that are good for us or our loved ones.
I walk around and although I know nothing about most of the people I photograph, I know that I have more in common with every single one of them than there are differences between us.
Some people carry a heavy load. A burden so cumbersome and painful that I couldn’t even begin to comprehend, yet they smile, they function and laugh, they work and provide for children and partners.
The fact I know nothing of the burdens others endure makes me humble and less inclined to complain about my own.
The extraordinary people I photograph are beautiful in every sense of the word. Born into the world with no choice and left to work it out as they go along. Unique in appearance, stature, life experiences and outcomes. Our flaws often mould who we are or who we strive to be, what we achieve, what we wish for, what we desire but cannot have, these flaws are what make us beautiful. I think Diane Arbus used the word flaw in a somehow negative way, I however see it differently.
We are our flaws and to love doesn’t mean finding the perfect person but means learning to see that flawed and imperfect person perfectly.
Embrace your flaws, understand them, know yourself and celebrate your differences.