Originally published on PassionPassport.com
It’s their eyes.
Sabrina Nicolazzi has traveled the world to document its people for over a decade, and the first thing she looks at is a person’s eyes.
If she can’t communicate with a common language, she speaks through smiles, playing with children, or laughing. She forges connections with the people she meets, even when no words are exchanged.
But above all, she searches for understanding in someone’s eyes.
Once she finds that connection Sabrina asks if she can take a portrait.
Sabrina started in Mali and has since traveled all over India, Asia, and parts of Africa photographing the people of vanishing cultures.
It was the differences that interested her at first, but the similarities that kept her going. No matter where she went — the Omo Valley, Myanmar, remote regions of India, or Papua New Guinea — people were people.
Landscape pictures were nice, but they weren’t compelling enough. They didn’t draw you in the way a portrait of a living, breathing human being did.
Sabrina remembers every person, every moment spent. After all, she only takes portraits of the people who mean something to her.
To photograph a person is to see their soul.
If done right, her portraits tell a story.
A story about emotion — pride, innocence, sweetness, vulnerability, strength, or hopefulness. A story about a life — a past of millions of individual, unique moments. And the story of a people, too — a culture with its own traditions and history.
If done right, her portraits say something without speaking.