The most sacred parts of my time in India were not touring the Taj or seeing the Ganges but the hours I spent roaming the streets of small villages or busy streets in the city armed with my camera and a small photo book full of pictures of my story seeking to catch a glimpse or hear a part of someone else’s. The challenge of capturing small snippets in pixels and jpegs to tell part of the story of time, place, & people is a beautiful adventure of travel photography.
India has 4,635+ peoples, over 1500 major languages and her diversity is staggering and overwhelming but all that is needed to forget all that is to accept one invitation to chai. Then the people become people and you become a guest in their home. These images are from a small village outside of Bundi, India called Tikkarda.
Once again I am humbled by a culture that refuses to allow a stranger to remain as one. In Hindi there is a proverb that says “guest is god” and they treat guests with kindness and a welcoming spirit that truly blessed me during my few weeks there. We were invited in, included in, and welcomed everywhere we went. Just popping your head into an alley is met with an invitation to join a meal. After living in Africa for 4 years and only just beginning to understand some of the culture I have no great insight to India or her people but this was a journey that had much to teach me.
Now in no way was I giving or contributing a great deal but I think I have come to realize that even if you do all the development work in the world if you are not willing to simply sit and share of yourself with others you will miss so much blessing God has for us. I learned a ton and the leader of my trip was very talented and challenged me to grow and I learned so much from the others on the trip as well. There were moments that through tears I realized, like everything, there is no short-cut to improving and that time, experience, and hard work will be the only way I will capture images that speak to people. I discovered that will I will continue to pursue photography I am ok with growing slowly because that is all my life with 3 kids allows for right now. For me THE primary thing is to use imagery to tell people’s stories, to communicate the beauty of God’s creation, and for me the people are deserving of my focus. Technique and skills are required for telling these stories with excellence and so I want to continue to challenge myself to grow but I learned that mostly I tend to just grab a place on the floor and start rolling chapati with women. That I long to see what they do, how they think, hold their kids, and be a part of their lives. And rather than merely constructing the most beautiful image I always want to communicate that the people God brings across my path are beautiful, loved, and unique. I want to try to use limited language to connect, to seek to understand. I want to offer blessing and receive it in abundance. I want to learn and be challenged and rely on His spirit to lead me and I need to allow the time and space for that to happen.
More of India soon…
A visual storyteller that focuses on human emotion & connection. I help families, individuals, & couples to share their beautiful messy story.
I also partner with humanitarian, non-for-profit organizations, and NGOs share their stories with intention, dignity, & excellence, so they can have a greater impact on their communities.