people

Postcards from Bangladesh

bangladesh_travel_photography-14.jpgHeading towards adventure.

The are 196 countries in the world.

I am really happy to say that I have visited a handful of them and am enjoying the process of checking each one off my list.

While it feels like a waiting game some days at home when I am editing through the deep recesses of my hard drive. I hope I never stop in wonder to marvel and be expectant at these opportunities and amazing things I get to see.

bangladesh_travel_photography-3.jpgLight at dusk and sights of traffic in Jessore, taken before crossing the street to hop into my van. This is one of my favourites from Bangladesh.

Without further ado, here are postcards from Bangladesh. Taken in dusty streets with tropical humidity, surrounded by the sound of prayer call, taken beside women clad in colour saris and rickshaw drivers who distractedly wave you down in this beautiful and mysterious country that has captured my heart in more ways than photos.

bangladesh_travel_photography-6.jpgSmiling boy wearing his prayer hat. Taken in a shrimp processing factory in Chila. bangladesh_travel_photography-10.jpgVisiting a local village by the Pushar river in Khulna. I love how the green in her dress matches the tree.
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Made our driver stop for shots on our way to the airoport. A snapshot of the green and lush river country Bangladesh is known for.village_life_bangaldesh_dhaka.png
The cutest boy from the village and a baby goat with the most spindly legs. I have found a new love for goats after visiting India and Bangladesh.
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Local school children on their way home from school. I found him saluting our gang of security guards that tail us wherever we go and asked him to pose for this shot.
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Bangladesh you were a marvellous journey. I leave with fresh eyes and a new perspective on different cultures and countries. I hope I will never lose the ability to find rich beauty in little places and in the humanity of people I have met here.

Till next time.

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Postcards from Laomei Green Reef, Taiwan

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Hello from Lao Mei, Taiwan.

It’s so nice to be back in Taiwan revisiting old nooks and discovering new places on this island that feels like home every time I am back. I think the beauty of going away is being able to come back and look at things with a new perspective and fresh lens. There are many memories I have from Asia and they grows richer with each trip.

I took the liberty of the Labour Day holiday and drove out to the North coast with friends. Taiwan is small yet I never cease to be amazed by the diverse landscapes and lush beauty the island seems to hold.

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Laomei Green Reef: A seaweed carpet formed by a type of algae that grows on the reef from April to May before the summer heat hits the coast. I have never seen such curious plants and might have taken a photo too many. taiwan_lao_mei_green_stones-12engagement_photography_taiwan_taipei
Chasing the light with Albert and Liz

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My squinty friend
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I have a few more days left here and it is always a fun battle between savouring moments like a local or taking photos like an unapologetic tourist. I leave feeling full from the warmth of the culture here and am excited to head back to Canada with a deeper understanding of Asia.

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Till next time.

King’s Kids Children’s Home, India

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The kids in their play clothes after a school day on campus. They love having their photos taken.

Here are photos from King’s Kid’s in Jangareddygudem, India. Where I spent 10 days living on campus photographing and interacting with the children.

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Morning music worship, it’s so fun to see these kids dancing to western songs. 
india_sophia_hsin_children_arise-6.jpgChore time – cooking for 50 kids is so much more easier when you have little helpers that help you cut veggies.

I must have gathered enough stories here to last a lifetime and it’s so hard to put all the stories into one blog post. These are times that I am just thankful for words and memories to hold on to this experience.

A day at the school typically starts with the kids waking up, bombarding you with hugs and rushing around for chores and breakfast before going off to school. I have never seen kids as eager to help or learn and it has been wonderful getting to see it for myself.

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A day in class.
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Varden, the goofiest kid on campus. Varden’s family work as missionaries that migrate their homes each season due to monsoon rain and floods. At the children’s home, Varden is provided with food, shelter and the opportunity to go to school every day.
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Pavan washing his clothes in a pail.

I wish I could describe the way Akash giggles every time you praise him even though he struggles with autism. Or the way Nera gets up at 4am to pray everyday and comes up to me after meals to ask “Your dish, I wash?” I hope that I will never forget the thanks that come from the villagers when you pray for them and the beautiful colours of sunsets in the Indian sky.

india_sophia_hsin_children_arise-5.jpgThis is Siddu, who wants to be a doctor and writer when he grows up. When I ask why his response is always ” So I can help people.”

There is Siddu and Esther, wonderful children with wonderful parents that have no money to send them to school but raised them to be the most helpful kids and best students on campus. There is Honey who comes from a begging background but is the most cheerful and shy boy who giggles every time you make eye contact with him. There is Anjelie, Sandy, Ujwal, Indu and Nandu who were orphans that thrive on the tiniest bit of affection you give them.

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Photo shoot by the eucalyptus and cashew trees on campus. The girls insisted on wearing their fanciest traditional clothes while the boys just wanted to climb trees.
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Village outreach. We ended finding this group of toddlers and taught them songs and shared a meal after.india_sophia_hsin_children_arise-9.jpg
Colours of the Indian sunset

I  spent the time on campus getting frustrated with the lack of wifi, rice and lentils for every meal and missing the freedom to roam around on my own while trying to cook food for 50 children with a stove and blender that died or stopped whenever the power went out. 

Despite the challenges of such a harsh environment, there is more beauty and hope here than I have found in other places and I have learned to appreciate the small moments that make this experience so beautiful. I leave super grateful for many things and am excited for the future of all the kids that live here.

kings_kids_children_arise_india-15The Kings Kids is a children’s home funded under the organization Children Arise in Canada. The children are taken care of by my friend Anita who left her teaching career in Vancouver to help start the home five years ago. Kings Kids is currently home to 50 children, 15 of which are unsponsored. Leave a comment or shoot me a message if you have any questions or would like to know more!

Summer in Vancouver

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English Bay, the place of pretty sunsets

This coming month marks three years of me being in Canada. Three crazy years of going down this creative journey that’s often crazy but always fun.

I’m at this season where I feel happily overwhelmed by life and work and it’s kind of amazing. If you ask me a thousand times why I take photos I will say it’s because the world is beautiful and that there are many stories waiting to be told.

I like about how nice it is to be alive and living in a place where I have the liberty to create and write about things that matter. I hope to never take these things for granted.

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The summer is being very wonderful and I am loving all the light it brings. So much colour and time to shoot and see. And you know it’s precious because it doesn’t stick around 🙂
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Here are a few shots from my neighbourhood, city and portraits of lovley people.

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Light and shadows – this is my favourite balcony in Vancouver
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And because it is nice to share  – here are a few books I’m currently loving:  Rework by Jason Fried(great left brain strategy for creatives), A Wilder Life (Good book with plant solutions for daily life) and Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I’ve always been inspired by children books and writers since I’m making my own. I’m trying read every book I can get my hands on—they’re great. Miss Peregrine will be coming out in theatre and of course anything directed by Tim Burton is a must see.
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If you’re looking for me – I will be by the beach.english_bay
Here’s to a wonderful summer!

Photo of me by Michiko
Pants and Black Lace Espadrilles from Zara
Stripe Top from Joe Fresh
Beach Blanket from Scout and Catalogue

China: A story in photos

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Dog on my uncles farm and a fishermen on the river in Suzhou

China, oh China.
There is so much to write about this country. Half the time it isn’t all fun but think 50% adventure with 100% culture shock. Moments when you find yourself terrified in over crowded public spaces, lost in the middle of nowhere with no maps no communication, over the top AQI’s and crazy taxi drivers.

And oh, did I mention Chinese food?

There is however, so much beauty in the great land of China and I am glad I got to witness a piece of it on this trip.

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Beautiful layers of mountains on Huangshan, Suzhou.

We spent a week in Suzhou, Anhui, Nanking and three days hiking on Huangshan(Yellow mountain) and Jiuhua mountain- legendary places that wooed poets, film makers and… me 🙂

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The cutest couple from a little village in Anhui- the grandma insisted on posing with watermelon!

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Luzhi- a water town in Suzhou where you can find the cutest antique shops

There is something about the way your eye is caught by smiles of people and the way light catches through old windows in towns so well preserved that you feel like you are travelling back in time.

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Children playing on the streets, Jiuhushan

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Sunset over Huangshan

These were plenty of moments I had to remind myself to put down the camera and take in how beautiful everything was. Travelling is magical in a way that you remember all the good things about being on the road and it always leaves you thirsting for more.

Note: These photos were photographed as an assignment for Getty Images/Instagram Awards for countries underrepresented.

Society Floral – A Photo Shoot

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Meet Tanisha, the lady behind Society Floral, photographed in her cute little studio in Vancouver.

I always find it interesting photographing other creatives- it’s like getting to experience the “behind the scenes’ for a few hours. Hearing them talk about their work is quite inspiring.

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Did you know that both of us got the idea to start our creative careers while travelling/living in China? Small world. 

pineapple - lifestyle photography - vancouver - portrait Also got a chance to be in front of the camera for a few shots, baby pineapple worked it’s magic.

We did a little tour around Sun Yet San Garden and broke down laughing because the light kept disappearing at the most crucial moments. Gotta love the light.

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Vancouver is pretty magical these days with the weather. I’ll be heading to Asia for a month of travel in May, looking forward to being on the road again and snapping some great shots.

A Wes Anderson Love Story

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If you haven’t watched a Wes Anderson film you should probably stop reading and go watch now cause that’s what I’ll be talking about for a while. I have this thing for film that invites you into a whole different world and I LOVE his quirky creativity and and his attention for symmetrical detail.

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Inspired by his creative genius. I had the opportunity to incorporate the concept in shoot with Matt and Dani. A wonderful couple who share an equal obsession with photography, adventure and Wes Anderson.

Here is a favourite from that day:

M + D (19 of 50)

The best times in photography are always those moments when you push a little further into your creativity or when you absolutely don’t expect it at all.

Yes, this is my favourite photo. Not because it feels like Wes Anderson but because it’s something I’ve never done before and I totally love it.

I will leave you with more one more photo and my fave soundtrack from The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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xo