“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “
Why are you passionate traveling + photography in general?
JM: I am passionate with the human story. The fascinating souls who move, work, and make their homes. I love walking these places- getting the small glimpses I can into their family connections, beliefs, and foods. The beautiful histories and the way they overcome adversary and hardships. Travel photography is a way that I can more deeply experience humanity and their land. It has played a huge role in transforming my world view and shaping my own beliefs while being a vein into expressing life to art and sharing a window for others to see into.
Can you tell us how your photography journey started
JM: I’ve always been interested in documenting and journalism, but putting the world canvas into a frame became the main way I could learn from the life around me-from others and myself. I was given a camera at a young age and took lessons all through school. This was my foundation, but in recent years, after moving overseas with my family, I have really found photography to be a crucial part of living and walking amongst a place that is not my own.
When traveling what are a few important items that you bring along for your camera?
JM: When Im traveling, I try to pack as simple as possible. The main reason being, in most destinations, I will be walking quite a lot and so it makes sense to carry light. The other reason being to prevent drawing attention to myself. I try to carry around my camera plus go to lens (which is my 35 mm) and then I have my 24mm in my bag along with an extra battery and memory card.
What were the challenges for you in the beginning?
JM:The challenges in the beginning can still come back to stir me. Walking through the streets or villages, seeing the broken world and complicated human condition, I can be overcome with a tug of war of questions and insecurities of purpose. There is a strong desire to maintain humility and dignity with a hope for a connection, even a collaboration, that gives a powerful message or story to a frame. I can often struggle with the truth and empathy and how photography can fit or play a role.
Any tips when traveling as a photographer? Permits you aquire or anything specific to travel and photography?
JM:I don’t have many tips. Besides the logistics of traveling requirements for different places like foreign visas and such, I do try to spend as much time as possible researching the place before I arrive. Also, getting to know and establishing trust with the people before getting the camera out. Awareness and compassion is key.
Favorite travel destinations
JM: So far, my favorite places have been the ones that take the most work to get to or are the most challenging culturally when I arrive. Southern India blew my mind on so many levels, leaving me with weeks of heavy life processing after I left, and up North in the small Tibetan villages, I couldn’t get enough of sitting around in a circle on the floor with the locals, sharing in hot Momos (kind of dumpling) and tea. These two places, with their deep history and strong traditions, expanded my understanding of humanity and culture more than any other so far.
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