Portraits: Moments of Intimacy on the Road is a large-format book of photographs, out from Rare Bird Lit in 2022. For years, when traveling, I found myself getting in conversations with people when I took their pictures, and started to consult with them―showing them the digital shot, then retaking it until we had one they were happy with. It gave us a reason to interact, and a way to do so, even when we shared no language in common. Readers of my three travel books (Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World, And the Monkey Learned Nothing, and The Kindness of Strangers) may recognize some of the people, because a number of them feature in those stories. But each stands on its own―each a testament to the human ability to connect across the fault lines that keep us precariously divided. And each is a tribute to the accidental intimacy of the road. This is a selection from the 250 images in the book.
“Portraits is one of those photo books you want to look at again and again, a world tour of humanity, and proof that Tom Lutz is not only skilled with a pen but a camera. To have earned the kind of trust that enabled him to make such revealing portraits, in such disparate cultures, is no small thing.”