Claudio Cambon, 46, Paris, France (and everywhere else)
Occupation: Translator; photographer
Purpose: “To realize myself as a photographer. It’s a whole way of doing things, of engaging my imagination, of questioning things even on the most existential level, looking at the concrete nature of things.”

“Art was a genetic impulse” for Claudio growing up. His Italian grandparents were painters; paintings hung everywhere in the homes and towns where he lived. “But I didn’t know how to draw,” he says. “Or I was too psyched out to try.”

But then: “A college photography class changed my life. Suddenly, I was able to see the world as I wanted to see it. Instead of being in a passive position, I was able to write my own story, to compose with my own eye.”

“I love doing it. There’s just something about the process of making a beautiful photograph that is so fulfilling.” Yet, he does question occasionally whether his passion for photography is sustainable: “You put everything into it, and then it wrings you out in the process.” His current project — “a compendium of pictures documenting the rawness and intensity of religious festivals in parts of Bangladesh and Eastern India” — has taken three and a half years: “It’s never everything you want it to be, but you learn to recognize that each individual photograph cannot contain the totality of your ambitions because it’s an ongoing thing.”

Still, he says, “My purpose gets me out of bed, drives me to make many decisions. I ask myself, what does it take to be happy? Am I facing myself, am I addressing what needs to be addressed? Practically? Emotionally? Am I doing everything I can, for myself and for others?”

Photo by Usha Bora