By Albert Smith
Originally published on Advocate.com March 18 2010 6:55 PM ET
I am a child of an immigrant from Vietnam, where most poor villagers can’t see their own future. Because of that, they turn to village fortune-tellers or witch doctors for their future. My mother, while pregnant with me, asked the fortune-teller about my future, and the fortune-teller told her that I would be an average person who would just disappear into this big world. To prove her wrong, I use my photography as a journal to record my journey in constructing this whole new world of mine so I that don’t have to live in the big world and that I will be somebody.
Why are you a photographer?
I love being young — youth is something you can’t really get back. To me, photography is my fountain of youth and my time machine. It allows me to freeze the moment and relive it over and over again whenever I want to.
What catches your eye?
The things that catch my eye are hard to describe because I believe there is beauty in everything and I like to capture the beauty I see each day. Inanimate objects in a picture often mean as much to me as the subject themselves.
How do you choose your subjects?
I like people who look totally different when they are not in front of the camera. Someone who is versatile and whose looks can be changed easily.
How do you describe your work?
My work is warm, vibrant, and colorful. It’s usually a reflection of my feelings in a sense. The images are not of me, but that part of me is in every photo.
What makes a good photograph to you?
Photographs that can evoke emotions.