Take Only Pictures: A Photography Workshop With A Difference

By William Chua, an international award-winning photographer based in Singapore.

As Singaporeans, we are probably used to taking photos of ourselves. Kids of all ages have their camera phones, point and shoot cameras and even Digital SLRs. In Bhutan, kids do not have such luxuries.

This idea of a “Take Only Pictures” photography workshop was first conceived after a friend visited Mongolia. When he offered to take a portrait shot for an old nomadic couple living in Gobi Desert, they were elated and took time to dress up and even chose the most presentable spot for the picture. The translator explained that the old couple wanted the photo as a keepsake for their children, to give future generations something to remember them by.

Deeply moved by this story, Adventure Quests created “Take Only Pictures” Travel Photography Workshop to allow photographers to give back to society. The itinerary includes a stop at a local school and a village where the travellers take pictures of the students and the villagers, who are given their photographs as keepsakes. A small token of each payment of the workshop helps sponsor young monks from economically disadvantaged families awaiting entry into monastic schools in Bhutan. This contribution is done through a partner in Bhutan and in close collaboration with the Youth Development Fund, founded by Her Majesty Azhi Tshering Pem Wangchuck.

If you wish to take part in “Take Only Pictures” Travel Photography Workshop (12 to 20 March 2011) please send an email to info@adventure-quests.com or call 64813314 by 15 February 2011. Each workshop will have 6 to 10 participants.

“The kids were so curious about us and where we were from. It was a joy to talk to them… some tried to contain their excitement and some asked for permission for more shots. It is a very humbling experience for me.”