Michel Haddi is one of the top worldwide photographers.
Sometimes I wonder how I could have ended up as a photographer, having been raised in an orphanage from the age of four. I have had a lot of fun as an artist because life, like the little genie in the enchanted lamp, guides you.
My wishes were fulfilled. As that American soldier in the orphanage told me: «Boy, someday you will come to America.» Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but I ended up living in America for 14 years, where I met a lot of my idols and photographed them.
From a young age I was fascinated by war reporters, my heroes were Sean Leslie Flynn, Tim Page or Don McCullin. I wanted adventure at all costs, so I ended up in Saudi Arabia working in construction, as a night doorman in a hotel, or as a waiter in a gay restaurant. All of this helped me understand the human soul.
As a photographer, you need to feel the person in front of you, and you need to be quick to come up with an idea that works. Each image must have a meaning.
All those stars that I admired, Sean Connery, James Brown, Liza Minnelli…, I ended up working with all of them. All those places I wanted to go, Brazil, Tahiti, Morocco… I ended up visiting them all. I asked the little genie in the enchanted lamp for my wishes: success and love. And I got them.