A beautiful, broad and evocative concept.
Lowepro couldn’t wait to see what this word evoked for their Storytellers.

Each month, the team at Lowepro challenge their Storytellers to a mission, assigning a word or phrase and asking that we show them our visual interpretations.  Because the Storytellers are spread all across the globe, each with their own unique personal style, it is always exciting to see how everyone translates this prompt into pictures.

For July 2017, the prompt was “Freedom” — a beautiful concept and a word that is heard often every July in the United States of America.  What Lowepro loved about this word was it’s broad and evocative nature.  In some it might stir the energy of strong political opinions, while for others it could bring to mind something as simple as a day off work.  Following is my submission for this month’s Storyteller Mission.

There is no other place on earth quite like enigmatic Bhutan.  Cradled deep in the creases of the soaring Himalayas, the country is a spectacular mixture of stunning, rugged countryside, centuries-old architecture, vibrant and colorful culture and friendly, welcoming people.

Bhutan’s natural light is soft and golden, and the prayer-flag-strewn, snowcapped-mountain vistas are beyond breathtaking. Friendly locals in traditional Bhutanese garb fill bustling city markets, while smiling monks and nuns in flowing maroon robes occupy the ancient monasteries and nunneries that dot the rugged landscape.

I made this photograph of an elderly, semi-nomadic yak herder — one of our trekking guides, whom our crew affectionately called ‘Yak Man’ — on an assignment I was shooting for Nikon.

Here, he is demonstrating for us some of his yak herding techniques at the breathtaking, snow-covered Jimi Langsto Lake (3,880m/12,800ft) high in the Bhutanese Himalaya.  ‘Yak Man’ was the ultimate outdoorsman; he had amazing handmade yak hair clothing, even a pair of yak hair sunglasses he’d fashioned himself.

The feeling of freedom fills me when I reflect on my experience shooting in the craggy peaks, the fresh mountain air and the ceaseless blue skies of Bhutan — and witnessing ‘Yak Man’, leaping and yelping and living truly free in the hills of the mighty Himalaya.”

Click here to see all the Lowepro Storytellers’ freedom submissions.