I moved to Seattle in 2016 seeking a community of like-minded individuals who believe mission-based storytelling can create global impact. I consider myself immensely lucky to have met Blue Earth Alliance. BEA’s mission statement embodies the kind of organization and people I want to associate with. Along with visual storytelling, I am interested in organizing events that support visual storytellers. Many freelance photographers work individually in silos, and there is a need to join together to collaborate and share ideas.
I immediately felt at home as Blue Earth Alliance strives to create that ecosystem for mission based visual storytellers, encouraging collaboration and engagement with their board members. I learn more every day, not just from our project photographers, but our immensely talented board.
I have long been amazed by Indian classical dance, which combines intricate movements and mime to enact mythological stories. One day, I happened to take my camera to a performance and was left spellbound by the resulting images. Through that encounter of two of my treasured passions: photography and dance, I found my calling. Up until then, my photographic expression was limited to one random beautiful moment at a time. As I transitioned from a biotechnology research scientist to a photographer I worked to capture the story of Indian dance. I also love to dance! Be it to Bollywood tunes or hip hop, good music can always get me going. I think my love for dance is what bought me close to photography as well.
As I stepped into telling stories with images, I began feeling a deep need for guiding beacons: mentors and teachers who could help take my thought process to the next level. I moved from India to the United States in August 2014 to strengthen my practice of photography and graduated from the one-year program in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism from the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York in 2015. Since graduation, I have focused on telling stories of the South Asian Diaspora based in the USA.
I serve as chair of the Events team for the Blue Earth Alliance board. We have now organized bi-coastal happy hours in Boston and Seattle. From time to time we partner with other local organizations with similar missions for our happy hours, which encourages dialogue and diversity in our community. I have talked with a local photography school to organize workshops that can benefit not just Blue Earth project photographers but also photographers in the local community. Our team is also working to organize artist lectures in the near future. I would love to encourage anyone interested in helping us build this community to volunteer with us on these engaging events.
My ultimate vision for Blue Earth Alliance is to be a global organization that consistently supports visual storytellers: not just with sponsorship but with an ecosystem of knowledge sharing, collaboration and education. This ecosystem can help Blue Earth project photographers receive the guidance they need from industry veterans, editors and educators in our rapidly changing media landscape.