This image is from my work Voir la Mer, meaning "to see the sea". I found people in Istanbul who had never seen the sea before, despite living in a city surrounded by it. Then I took 15 people of all ages, from kids to one man in his 80s, to see it for the first time.
I went with each person individually, such as this man in his 30s. Before we arrived I made him cover his eyes. Once we were safely by the sea, I instructed him to take away his hands and look at it. Then, when he was ready – for some it was five minutes and for others 15 – he had to turn to me and let me look at those eyes that had just seen the sea.
I only took photographs of each person's back but captured the whole process on video, including their facial reaction as they turned around. If I had stood in front of them it would not be the sea that they would see for the first time, but the camera instead. I felt that the back held a lot of emotion anyway, and it was stronger being behind them and watching the sea, like them.