When I began looking for my first job in photography over 10 years ago, I wasn't even thinking about wedding photography. I wanted to be a photojournalist. I wanted to travel the world and take "important" photographs that changed the way people thought about the world.
What actually happened was that the first person who would hire me was a wedding photographer. At the time, his work was like nothing I'd ever seen before - it was like a combination of photojournalism, fine art black & white film, and weddings all rolled into one. So, I dove in head first and started learning all about wedding photography. But that itch to document the hard things of this world has never left me. I've travelled to many countries on missions trips with my church, and as a photographer on behalf of non-profit organizations, and captured all that I saw and experienced. And still, I've wanted more.
It's been over four years since my last trip, and my heart has literally ached for another opportunity. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I got this email from my friend Grant who lives in Singapore:
"Hey Krista, What does your calendar look like in November? How about a trip to Nepal..."
He sent me to the website for the Lighthouse Foundation, where I read about the Badi Girls. Nepal is primarily Hindu and holds to the caste system, in which the Badi people are the lowest of the low, the lowest of even the Untouchables. And though they are "untouchable," the only way most families can even survive is to offer up their daughters as prostitutes. I read the testimonies of two young girls who had been drugged, sold to brothels, forced into prostitution, severely beaten, and eventually escaped and came to live in the Lighthouse orphanages. And with tears streaming down my cheeks I realized that I had no choice but to go and do the only thing I really can do - photograph this story. Grant started a company called Code Red Films and will be organizing the trip, and gathering a crew to go into Nepal and shoot a documentary about the Badi Girls. I am honored to be invited to work on the project as the still photographer, and completely overwhelmed at the thought of what this experience will be like. So, in just a few weeks, I'll be heading to Singapore, then Nepal to spend 2 weeks meeting and photographing these girls. I have no doubt that it will be an incredibly difficult, and gut-wrenching project, but somehow I'm still excited that we are tackling it and I can't wait to see what God will do with this!
Code Red Films (i.e. Grant) is financing this project with funds donated by people from all over the world. Please consider supporting our efforts by donating either directly to Code Red Films, or to Krista Photography. None of the donations are tax deductible, but they will be greatly appreciated and used directly towards expenses associated with the film (plane tickets, travel within Nepal, post-production, etc.). And if you are a praying person, please pray for this project! Pray for us as we form a team, and a plan, and for our safety and the safety of everyone who participates and helps us along the way!