It is not just about capturing an image, or even a moment in time. To me, photography has the potential to get much deeper in to the soul. It has the power to move, inspire, change. The work is not just about the images hanging on the wall, it is about an inner journey to find peace and joy in a simple place where people are the most valuable resource.
My trip to Nepal in 2010 was my first missions trip to a third world country and the beginning of a passion for humanitarian photography. I traveled with the Pennsylvania United Medical Association (PUMA) to villages in the Lamjung District. Our physical journey took us through majestic landscapes, across frightening bridges, and a few bus rides that put scary roller coasters to shame. It was in the beauty of the faces of the villagers that I began to question my own existence. At first I thought I had something to give them, a hug or a smile, maybe a prayer. What I quickly realized is that they had so much to teach me about life. In my time spent with the people, they demonstrated what it looks like to serve others, the importance of living in community, and the true value of faith. Through their kindness and actions they showed me that time is a gift. The time I thought I was giving in service to them ended up being the best growth experience of my life. And I ended up being the one to receive.
This photography is not an end in itself. I hope that it is a way to evoke others to action, not a call to serve others out of guilt but from a place of sincere, unconditional love. It is when we take our needs, desires and wants out of the process of serving others that we can be present in the moment. As you experience this journey, leave your mirrors behind and encounter the people and culture that radically changed my life.
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