Excited to have had the opportunity to contribute to the current issue of Dreamer Journal. Below is the piece that I wrote and a couple of the portraits. Click here to check out the entire piece and their current issue.
I have had incredible experiences in my life that have forced me to re-examine the way I see the world. After a near brush with death I decided to stop "renting" my life and chose to "own" it. I quit my corporate job on a whim but with the clarity that life was too short to spend it plagued by fear and complacency. Prior to that moment I wouldn't have considered myself creative and I lacked any formal training. What I had was a dream to become a photographer, intuition, and faith that the universe was trying to tell me something.
Nearly 4 years later I have been changed in unmeasurable ways. Don't get me wrong the journey has been difficult at times and I am acutely aware of how much and how far is yet to be traveled. But I can say with certainty that the way I look at the world, the way I look at my work and how I live my life have been shaped by experiences that are only gifted to those willing to face fear, sacrifice their comfort and abandon their sense of security. If you're willing to open your eyes, your heart and your mind then prepare to be blessed with the chance to taste life at it's sweetest.
For me those blessings have come in many forms but one in particular stands above the rest. That blessing is travel. Opportunities to work with amazing non-profits like Wine to Water who are leaving their mark by waging war against the water crisis that leaves nearly a billion people without access to clean drinking water. Traveling with Tibetian pilgrims during their 18 month pilgrimage to Lhasa under Chinese occupation and environmental conditions beyond comprehension. These are the blessings where I have come to know the true and universal heart of man in a way that I could have never imagined existed. My camera has allowed me to document those encounters but more importantly I have come to discover the unspoken language of a photograph. The way in which a fleeting moment in time can bridge two vastly different worlds.
In the following pages I will share a handful of portraits that represent moments in my life that have changed me forever. These children represent the purest form of our humanity. Our perception of their poverty dismisses their reality of simplicity. Our perception pales in comparison to the love and support of their family and village. What they lack in material goods is more than compensated for with imagination and curiosity. They represent a reminder of how when the heart is full it has limitless impact on the world.
Tavel in a humanitarian capacity does impact those in need of aid but more importantly it will impact you. It teaches you a conviction for life and your fellow human being. It teaches you how broken we all are and how when we come together it changes everything. From a creative standpoint It teaches you that the only ingredients needed to create greatness are honesty and the marriage of you and your subjects soul.