Last spring we were sent by Condé Nast Traveler to cover the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Like the infamous power lines that clog the sky like massive bird nests, the valley is a place full of chaos. It is a wild and beautiful jumble of smoke, soot and ash, brilliant colors and absurdly beautiful faces. The challenge with this job was that we were on the ground for six days; this is a short amount of time in the scope of a travel job. We usually have more time but we only needed to cover three towns so it was booked as a short trip. Honestly we could have spent a month. There was a photograph around every corner and alleyway. We love shooting travel and are so thankful that Traveler continues to send us on such extraordinary adventures. We have been around the world for them and it feeds all of our other work. The things we see always provide new inspiration. Each time they send us, we get to reconnect to what initially drew us to photography. Shooting travel takes us back to photography as a personal experience. We are alone with our cameras in hand, we often split up (at the crack of dawn) and dash off to cover whatever we may find coming back together periodically to share what we have found. It becomes just us alone looking through the viewfinder... searching and searching and searching. Most days in New York we spend our time in the studio around a monitor collaborating with art directors and stylists. Travel assignments are different from this kind of collaboration in that they are a solitary adventure and that is what makes them unique. Our assistant is usually somewhere between the two of us keeping notes and staying organized which is no small feat when shooting reportage. There are moments when I am at a market foraging produce for a still life and I look up only to see my husband cantilevering off a roof somewhere above us. He is famous for hanging out of car windows or tying himself to the side of a truck. He will go to all lengths to get a shot. (Think MacGyver) There are of course moments on these assignments when we are side by side shooting the same portrait but for the most part we come back together to load cards and see how the story is shaping up. There is a bit of competition between us but it only fuels the process, in the end we don't remember who took what picture.
It is a collaboration of a different sort.
I wanted to share some out takes from Nepal. You can see the full story in the August issue Condé Nast Traveler.
Hope you enjoy, the chaotic frenzy. xx