What does $4bn look like?

... this. 

I met Mohamed Mansour recently, to take his portrait for a magazine. After getting into his office to set up before he arrived and being told that when he did I arrive, I would be called in and given 10 minutes maximum to get what I needed, I was definitely thinking - this is another one of those isn't it!

As I returned to reception to wait for his arrival, I did what anyone would do (after seeing models of yachts and airliners in his office) - I Googled the man. I hadn't previously been told who I was photographing so to then have Wikipedia tell me all about his billions and career as an Egyptian minister, I was suddenly in a new frame of mind.

As it turns out, he is extremely warm, gentle and incredibly relaxed in front of the camera - having a career in the public eye does this to you. A very pleasant experience. As always with these things, it was an absolute privilege to get to meet the man and one of his sons too. I get loads out of it, connecting with people and having a quick delve into their life before I probably never see them again; I find it fascinating and very rewarding. It really isn't about money at all, it's more that to get where he has got to he has to have character, something about him, drive, determination and most importantly, stories to go with it. This is what I love - I would get the same thing from spending time photographing one of the subjects in my Cyrenians projects, all of whom have zero money and severe mental disabilities but bags of character and stories (even if they are sometimes made up) that are unique to them!

 

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