I am always in awe of how an unexpected moment can be the defining memory of a photographic trip. Leading up to a trip I research and plan for weeks and months to make sure I place myself in the best area that the journey can provide me for that magic shot. It’s such a fun part of the traveling process, it fuels that pre-trip excitement and anticipation.
When you travel for great photographic material your planning and research is mostly focused on the logistics and practicalities of coming home with iconic images, not necessarily to have a defining life moment…and yet, that is so often how travel works and you cannot help but be changed by these events.
After a trip, be it in my home state of Colorado to far off lands I often come home with a new insight into my world that was completely unexpected for all the planning and research that went on prior to the trip and experiences gained throughout. It often comes down to a moment or an experience that my memory goes straight to long after I am home again.
The first time I went to Morocco I had one of those moments where my passion for photography seamlessly crossed over to join my passion to help people, especially children. I was winding my way through the Dades Valley where I found myself in a remote desert village and immediately was surrounded by smiling little faces curios to check out the stranger…and there it was, the unexpected and beautiful moment that no amount of planning or research could have ever prepared for me to expect. It is a moment that will forever be seared into my memory and always the first thought when I recall this Morocco trip. Among all the happy faces and excited questions, I was asked for pens! “Monsieur, les stylos! Est-ce que tu as des stylos!” “Stylos!” Really, pens! I was so not expecting these children to ask for pens, but there it was. Pens and writing utensils are hard to come by in this remote area of Morocco. As a cornerstone of a child’s education and learning that was what they wanted, I was amazed and shocked that they needed, and wanted above anything else I could offer them: pens. Something so basic, something that I have taken for granted all my life. It really moved me and ever since I have wanted to return to this village with a backpack full of pens….every color, shape, and size!
For those of you joining me on this amazing National Geographic Journeys photographic adventure we will do just that! Start saving up pens those of you who will join me for an amazing photographic workshop inspired journey off the beaten path and giving back at every opportunity. I can’t wait to show you the Morocco I came to love and not only provide you with photographs of a lifetime but also an opportunity to spread a little good to the children of Morocco. The pen project will be just one aspect of the trip with a humanitarian focus, next month’s email with have another aspect unique to trip.
For more information please visit this Adventure's page on my website or simply click here and be sure to RSVP, space is limited to 8 participants and space is filling quickly, this is an absolutely unique adventure and will be an incredible experience. If you know of someone who you feel would benefit from and enjoy an experience like this, please share this with them!
Great light to you!