Nepal {Documentary Photographer}

April 30, 2015

On February 27th I boarded a plane to Nepal for 3 weeks.  I never thought that I would ever make it to Nepal, it had been one of my goals for almost 10 years.  In December I saw a post on Instagram from Wedding Sparrow, it was for a photography workshop that was part styled wedding shoots and part documentary photography and humanitarian work.  I had never heard of the photographers that were putting it on, but as soon as I saw this post, I knew that I was suppose to go.  I waited a couple of days to decide if it was really right for me to go, and I prayed sincerely on Saturday night if I should go or not, the next day we had to speak in church.  The couple that spoke with us answered my prayer; the man that spoke talked about his experience in Nepal… As soon as he said Nepal, I turned to Cole and said there is my answer.  Who talks about Nepal and who has actually been to Nepal?  It was as clear as could be, and everything else lined up perfectly for me to make this trip.  Nina and Wes Photography hosted The Beyond Workshop and it was an experience that I will never forget.

On April 25th, 2015, just over 5 weeks after I came home, Nepal was hit with a devastating 7.8 earthquake and the death toll is over 5,000 people.  As I have watched the coverage of this devastation, I can’t stop thinking of all of the people that I came in contact with. I have been in touch with many of them through Facebook, they are terrified, scared and many have lost their homes.  I am at a loss at what to do for them, words can not help the dire circumstances that they are facing.

In February, I celebrated 10 years in business, along with The Riter Mansion. For several months we have been planning a fiesta for the 6th of May to celebrate.  Because of recent events in Nepal, we are going to add a Silent Auction and Donation Box for the people of Nepal.  I have several organizations that I will contribute the funds to. {Links will be at the bottom of this post}  Please join us, and come ready to donate to a good cause.  You can find more information on the blog or on our event page.

These are just a few photos from my trip, but I wanted you to meet some of the amazing people that I met on my adventure.

Utah Documentary Photographer

The people of Nepal were so welcoming and kind.  These photos were taken in a little town on top of a hill called Nagarkot.  I love these images of this mother and daughter.

Utah Documentary Photography

Travel and Documentary Photography Utah

Travel and Documentary Photographer Utah

Nepal Documentary Photographer Utah

Nepal Documentary Photography Utah

This family welcomed me into their tailoring shop and bought me a coke.  While we were talking the little girl asked what my religion was, when she found out that I am Christian she got so excited because they were also Christian.  Once the father found out that I believed in Christ, he asked if I would pray over his foot that had been hurt for sometime.  Before I left their humble shop, he gathered their two children and his wife and we knelt in prayer.  He first prayed and then I offered a prayer for them as well.  It was such a humbling experience, I hope my faith was as strong as theirs to heal his wounded foot.

Utah Travel and Documentary Photographer

Utah Travel and Documentary Photographer

I walked up the street with these two ladies for awhile and they were so fun to try and communicate with, eventually our words didn’t mean anything and we just communicated with our laughing and smiles!

Documentary Photos Utah

Once we were back in Kathmandu we volunteered with several organizations.  3 Seams works towards giving children in Nepal a future.  The children’s home situation in Nepal is like those in many impoverished countries… sometimes necessary and sometimes, not. Many impoverished families see it as a way for their children to have a chance at a better life… so, children are abandoned to a system that, in the end, will fail them. These children are provided with an education, but unfortunately, they age out of the children’s home system just two years shy of finishing high school. The majority have no way to continue and cycle back into poverty’s grip. 3seams, wants to step in and bridge the gap for this population. The difference that those two years can make in the life of a young adult in Nepal is of enormous proportion. (information from 3 Seams website)

This little girl lived in a children’s home just down the street from the office of 3 Seams, these children were so sweet!  I wish I could have brought them all home with me!  Her name was Jessica too and we had an instant bond!

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Jessica's Photography Documentary Photographer

Motto for 3 Seams. …creating jobs and running poverty to the ground.

Jessica's Photography Documentary Photography

This girl is teaching the other girls how to make the rings that they will sell.  She is so talented!

Jessica's Photography Travel and Documentary

Jessica's Photography Nepal

Reuben and Rajani are the program coordinators for 3 Seams, they have done such a great job with assisting this program in Nepal.  They were recently married and had one wedding photo, so we took some wedding photos for them.  They looked great!  In this photo below, someone asked them to kiss and Reuben was so embarrassed!  I guess our wedding photo traditions are a little different than the Nepali people.  Heather Smith did an amazing job on her hair and makeup.

Documentary Photography Utah

Documentary Photographer Utah

These are some of the things that they will make to sell.  To purchase them go to their website.

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Nepal Documentary Photos UtahWe also volunteered at The Aamas House.  Aama means mother, and these women were so strong and bright.  These women were dropped off at this house, because their family could no longer care for them.  We had such a good time visiting with them, painting their nails and dancing with them.
Utah Documentary Jessica's Photography

Jessica's Photography Documentary Photography

Jessica's Photography Documentary Photographer

Jessica's Photography Documentary Photos

The Beyond Workshop was 6 days, after the workshop I took off with a few of the other girls and went to Pokhora.  We went on a trek on the Annapurna trail, it was such an amazing hike.
Travel and Documentary Jessica's Photography

We went on the trek with Three Sisters Adventure Trekking.  3 Sisters Adventure Trekking and Empowering Women of Nepal work in partnership to promote and empower women through adventure tourism. EWN educates and provides practical skill-based training programs. 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking guarantees field experiences and employs interested trainees on a paid apprenticeship program. Their goal is to encourage their fellow Nepali sisters to become self-supportive, independent, decision making women. (information from 3 Sisters website)

These two were amazing!  Nirma was our trekking guide and Rita was our assistant guide.  Nirma is an excellent climber, she was one of the first women to summit one of the Annapurna Mountains and she was the team leader.  She had the most contagious laugh!  Our trek was Rita’s first trek, and she did an amazing job.  She was so much fun to hike with and to get to know.

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Our first night we stayed at Mystique Mountain Resort in Astam Camp.  Radha was such a great host, and a fabulous cook.  In this photo below she was showing me how they grind Dalbot.

Documentary Photographer Utah

A few of the people that we met along our trek, they were all so kind and generous.

Travel Photography and Documentary Photography Utah

Travel Photographer Documentary Photographer Utah

Utah Documentary and Travel Photographer

This post is just a preview of all of the amazing people that I came across on my trip to Nepal.  I can’t wait to get more photos of my trip up, but it will take several posts, I took over 7,000 images…. yes I said 7,000….

Jessica's Photography Utah
Here are the links to some of the organizations that you can donate through:
3 Seams


Help International, a Utah based organization, 100% of the raised funds will go to the people of Nepal


Along my trek, I met Heidi and Joyce, they started a NGO to help educate women and children.  They are setting up a special donation that they will see to it that the funds are immediately sent to provide needy villagers with food, medical aid (i.e. transportation to medical facilities when possible), some basic construction materials, and water purification kits from Ama Ghar, their wonderful children’s home in the Kathmandu suburb of Godavari.


I will also be collecting money to send to the Rai Family, they helped Nina and Wes organize all of our volunteer opportunities.  They will be distributing the funds where they see necessary.

Please come to our Fiesta and celebrate our 10 years in business, but more importantly to donate to Nepal.  I will have several photos from Nepal for auction, the prints were generously donated by Artifact Uprising, if you haven’t checked out their stuff you need to! Joel Dewberry has also donated some fabric!  If you are interested in donating something to the auction please contact me.  If you can’t come please consider donating to one of the above organizations.

There will be more info on the Fiesta in the next post!