Field Trip in India

Field trippers, we're ready to take this to the next level; because when life gives you an opportunity like this, you jump. This November, Field Trip will be heading to India for an intimate submersion of hands-on cultural interaction and photojournalism. This will NOT be a detached tourist excursion, nor will it be an exercise in white-savior-ism for us to feel good about ourselves and get a super-gratifying profile photo. We know we can accomplish much more than that.

By actually partnering with people who have dedicated their lives to working in these areas, people who are well-traveled and know the ins and outs of their context, we believe we can create wholly unique learning experience without being abrasive or exploitative. Not only that, but we believe we can use our craft to be a positive force. We have the power to break down stereotypes, and to reframe the way westerners encounter places like India.

This is still the Field Trip you know and love. It will still be our intention to learn through play. We will be holding your hand and guiding you, and you will be holding your camera. Between decisive moment street photography, pre-scouted shoots, foodie bliss, and maybe even a surprise festival, we're going to get you into direct contact with India while helping you continue to grow and improve your craft.

At the same time, we'll be partnering with people on the ground to make sure our presence is anything but intrusive. Caroline and Jayden Lee will be connecting us with their recent project, Elephant Landing - a humanitarian home goods brand that supports women in rural India with education and employment. They also work with an orphanage in a remote village that may or may not entail a short ride in a propeller airplane in order to visit. Are you ready for serious adventure? We'll keep that part optional, but we think you're ready. What was the first Field Trip in preparation for, if not for this?

Throughout all of this, our intention will be to listen more than to talk; to learn about existing needs rather than assuming we already know.

Each time you take a photo of a given subject, your approach is informed by every little piece of information you have ever ingested regarding that subject. A first-time wedding photographer, for example, might try to mimic the style that he/she has seen on a blog. However, it takes a seasoned photographer to understand that you have to work with what's in front of you rather than try to infuse the day with a story that isn't actually organically happening.

We face a similar learning curve with India. This trip will not be a classroom exercise or a simple opportunity for camera education. This is going to be more of an eye-opener. An opportunity for us to ingest something different and expand our views of the world. You undoubtably already carry a reservoir of information in your mind which you tap into whenever you think of India. Some of it may be positive, some may be negative, but all of it is incomplete.

How you see the world strongly affects how you photograph it. Contrary to what Uncle Bob says, you're not just pressing a button on an expensive device. You string narratives together, and you have the power to do that regardless of the truthfulness of those narratives. Before we even pick up our cameras, it is our responsibility to carefully curate our outlooks in order to produce only the truest, most honest narratives about the the actual stories surrounding our subject, rather than the ones we'd prefer to tell. Those stories will go on to influence the outlooks of others. By changing your outlook you can change the world.

If you're anything like us, you got into this whole photography thing because you believe it can be a powerful tool. Because you believe it can do a lot more than just make things look nice. Do you still believe that? Do you want to get out there and employ your craft to its fullest potential? Let's see what you and your camera can do.

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