Who am I?

Free Spirit. Traveller. Adventurer. 

Outdoor Enthusiast. 

Daughter. Sister. Life Long Friend.

Photographer & Videographer.

I grew up in a small Northern community, along the north shore of Lake Superior. Here I discovered my love for hiking and the outdoors. 

I began taking close up photos of plants while trying to learn all their names, and the rest of my photography pursuits blossomed from there.

 

At the age of 15, I wanted to broaden my horizons outside of my little town.

So, I spent all of my summer savings on a 3 month exchange program and hopped on a plane heading to Geneva. Switzerlands picture perfect cobble lined streets, and stunning landscapes inspired my love for different cultures,  architecture, and a European way of life. 

It was my first taste of freedom, and Swiss chocolate.

In 2014 after I graduated high school, away I went again but this time on a more humbling and life changing type of adventure. I'd signed up for 6 months of volunteer work in SE Asia.

 

I wanted to help people who had less than I did.

 

So, I made a power point and pitched my ideas to our local rotary club, sold pumpkin pies on Facebook for thanksgiving, hosted a dinner/concert at my workplace and performed with my high school band.  

 

Living in a small town has its benefits.

 

With the support of my amazing family, friends and community, we managed to fundraise $3,000 for the orphanage I'd be volunteering at in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

In less than just one months time!

Then, I flew half way across the world and upon arrival discovered my task for the next 6 months was to figure out how to teach English to 40 students between the ages of 2-16 yrs.

This proved to be very challenging for an 18 year old. It turned out, these 40 kids taught me more than I could ever have hoped to teach them.

 

Each child had a different story, from parents who'd passed tragically, to mothers who didn't have the means to care for them, physical abuse, and human trafficking.

But you know what? 

They were some of the kindest people I've known, and they taught me that money and material possessions are not a necessity for happiness.

 

Everyday morning I'd arrive on my bicycle to be greeted by hugs and an entourage of smiling faces. Both the staff and children were so eager to teach me about their way of life.

After about 2 months of attempting to "teach" English lessons in a classroom, I realized what these kids really wanted and needed was my attention. I knew that was something I could give.

 

So instead, I dedicated my weeks to making sure I spent 1 on 1 time with each child as if they were my own. 

 

We'd have conversations in broken English and they taught me the Khmer alphabet. I braided hair, folded laundry and peeled mangos every day. We planted a garden, I took them on field trips to waterfalls, amusement parks and ice cream shops.

Bought school supplies, art supplies, new clothes, bug nets, and even had a truck come to fill in the malaria breeding, garbage filled swamp in the back yard.

 

I taught them songs in English and they taught me songs in Khmer. I organized games and obstacle courses, we made bracelets, paper snow flakes, and a paper mâché volcano (a pnum plung).

I learned how to drive stick in a foreign place, and picked them up from Khmer school everyday in their "school bus." Picture me driving around in a big blue truck with 40 caged kids in the back. 

About 3 months in, the volunteer house I was living in started to become party central.

In my mind I was there to teach.

So I moved out, found a room right down the street from the orphanage, and got a job as a bar tender to pay my rent. $2/hr was my wage and I bravely dodged the snakes holding my phone as a light while I biked home @2am on those nights.

Looking back on this 6 years later, I was nuts.

But I'd fallen in love with the country, the people, and those 40 kids. Least to say I no longer felt like a tourist but like family. 

 

I started attending their church on Sunday mornings and was blown away by what I learned next.

 

The church would select some of the older children at the orphanage, take them to buy staple foods and supplies, make up packages and drive out to rural villages without power.

The children (many who'd come from villages like these) would hand deliver these bags of food to families and people in need!

So here I am, in a third world country.

Trying to help these kids who I feel needed so much, only to see them light up as they selflessly give to those who have even less than they do.

I thought to myself, that is the most powerful thing I've ever witnessed. These kids may want my attention, but they do not need me to teach them anything.

I started funding some of these rural excursions until it become a biweekly ordeal. We'd spend time playing with the local children, and some had never seen a white person before.

Then I met a widow in one of these villages who'd lost her house in a storm. She didn't have the means to build a new home, so my final funds and project in Cambodia became buying supplies and building this lady a house along side the children from the orphanage. 

It took us a couple weeks to collect the materials, and three days to build a small hut.

I will never forget the look in her eyes as she cried and gave me a hug when we'd finished. 

I'd travelled there to give my time and money to this orphanage and these children, only to be humbly taught what it really means to give. 

In their honour, I will be donating 15% of my profits to free women from human trafficking through an amazing organization called Daughters of Cambodia. 

https://www.daughtersofcambodia.org

And as for me.

Today, I reside on the lovely Vancouver Island pursuing studies in holistic medicine and preventative healthcare, taking photos to fund my next adventure.

What inspires me most?

Beauty.

Living life through a camera lens allows me to capture the beauty I see all around me.

Whether it's a lovely flower, an unforgettable sunset or beautiful soul, I pour my creativity into every project I take on hoping to inspire others to see the world through their own unique lens.

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For affordable photography, event coverage, videography, and all other creative endeavours please get in touch!

I look forward to hearing from you,

Brittany Anne

Contact

captured.by.brittanyanne@gmail.com 

Victoria, BC   |  Tel: 1 778-700-9346

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