I was born, and my father bought himself a camera. He recorded a lot, including our family life. Hence, I grew up amidst cameras, camera bags and photographs.
The early pictures are small, square and black and white with a jagged edge. Later on they became rectangular with a simple straight border which then disappeared. Eventually, slides were included as well, which I helped to frame in glass. The long case for the screen in our living room was as big as the one in the atrium of our school. During the evenings at home, when the slides were shown, I was always very impressed by the large image which took up most of the room. This is when I learnt to look at a picture for a longer period of time.
At the age of fourteen, my father gave me his camera to hold for the first time. I was very proud, because over the years I had been able to observe with how much love and care he had handled his cameras and thus was very much aware of their fragility. I learned the science of setting the aperture as well as the timer; the interaction of focus and subject. It was the gradual discovery of a mystery.
Later on, during my travels I met many foreign people whose fear and respect for the camera made a deep impression on me. This is something I always want to remain aware of.