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Blog posts featuring images and video from shoots with Todd White Media Content Creator - Photography and Videography. Content Creation for Brands.

Madanpur Khadar Community {Travel}

Here are a few photos from the Madanpur Khadar Resettlement Community. More will come later, just wanted to get a few posted before we head out for today's adventure.

This little girl caught this chicken and was running around playing with it. I waited a caught in a moment that is priceless and rarely seen in the United States. The second photo is of a ladies hands with traditional Mehndi.

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India, Good Samaritan School, Madanpur Khadar {Travel}

We spent Tuesday at the Good Samaritan School in Madanpur Khadar. Madanpur Khadar is a government resettlement colony in South Delhi. The people here were relocated from various slums around Delhi. The kids are so special and so fun to hang out with. Patsy and I sponsor two kids from this school and I was able to spend time with both. So cool to have been here in November to meet them and then back this month to see them again...special time.

India, Sunday {Travel}

This week I am leading a team on a trip to India to work with the Good Samaritan School and Children's Hope Chest. The first night in India, while wandering the streets, we came across a small Indian wedding. It was a great introduction for the team to the culture here. Nothing, and I mean nothing is like an Indian wedding.

Lisbon, Portugal {Travel}

Here are a few photos from our trip to Lisbon, Portugal. The architecture here is beautiful and the people are great. So hard to catch every moment.

Indian Wedding {Travel}

About 2 days into our trip in India I was talking to Russ Taylor, another photographer that I met there. We were driving back from lunch and I commented that I would love to be able to shoot an Indian wedding. Just after I said that, we passed an area close to our flat where people were setting up for a wedding. After we got back I grabbed my gear and headed out. I reluctantly went into the tent and food preparation area and I was greeted with smiles and requests for photos. I was pleasantly surprised. Russ mentioned that it was honor for an American to attend a wedding but I was not expecting the welcome I received. After being there for about 30 minutes, the father of the groom approached me and asked me to sit down with him. We talked for about 15 minutes after which he invited me to stay, take photos, eat, make myself at home and enjoy the celebration...what an opportunity.

There are those moments as a photographer that you stop and realize the opportunity in front of you is less about the photos and more about the chance to learn and experience another culture and engage in building relationships with those around you. This was one of those opportunities. The photos below are some that I took throughout the evening as I was asked to or felt like the moment was right...but the majority of the evening I found myself being asked to sit at different tables and visit with people, smoke hookah with the older men and share in a meal. Most of the evening I had my camera in my bag. During the evening I met Pramod Kumar and his kids. He was a friend of the groom's family and he became my guide and educator throughout the evening. He led me around and walked me through the events taking place.

At one point he took me into the community and showed the homes of the bride and groom's families. As we approached the bride's family home, Pramod said that the bride does not show her face in public prior to the wedding ceremony but I could see her home and the female bridal party but no pictures. We then proceeded to the location where the wedding ceremony was to take place. The priests were there preparing for the rituals. They had setup a tent and all the various elements for the ritual including the fire the bride and groom would walk around seven times for purification. This wedding ceremony would take place after the grooms had their celebration back at the tent area. Yes, I said grooms...as in two of them. On this day, two brothers were marrying two sisters.

After this we caught up to the groom's procession through the neighborhood which had started about 2 1/2 hours earlier and was coming to an end at the tent area. It was not hard to find the groom's procession...all you need to do is watch for the fireworks and listen for the music and the people dancing. So here's the rough rundown of the evening into the morning.

Tents and carpets are setup while food is being prepared; people from all over the area (family and friends) start arriving and eating, some stay, some eat and leave; as guests arrive, they are showered with marigold petals as a sign of honor and welcoming them to the celebration; a marching band with drums and bagpipes arrive to play some music for the guests and plaster headed characters arrive to play with the kids; members of the family and other community leaders arrive and take their places in certain seating areas; about 8PM the groom procession starts in the community; the groom is on a white horse or in a carriage; men carry lights powered by a generator in a truck behind the procession; a marching band leads the procession and people dance all along the route; the procession stops about every 20 yards and kids set off fireworks and people dance like crazy...people in the community come out of their homes to join the celebration...it's truly amazing; this goes on for about 2-3 hours; groom arrives at the tent to a massive display of fireworks and I mean a massive display (remember it is now about 11PM); some gifts are given to them, mainly cash and they take their seats with the family; the family enjoys a meal with the groom and some ceremonies are performed; groom leaves the tent area and heads to the location for the wedding ceremony; the wedding ceremony begins around 1AM and lasts for about 2-3 hours; groom then takes his new bride to the home of his parents; bride is welcomed into the family and another series of wedding rituals are performed which can last another 2 hours. Some of the rituals and whether the bride can be seen or not will vary by the religious background of the family - strict Hindu traditions or not, Christian, or another variation of Hinduism.

I left around 12 midnight as the groom was getting settled in the tent area and ready for the meal. It was such a cool event to experience and be a part of. Truly amazing. Can't wait to attend another one. Enjoy the photos below...most of them are explained in the paragraph above.

Good Samaritan School, Madanpur Khadar {Travel}

Here are some photos from the day I spent with the kids at the Good Samaritan School in the Madanpur Khadar Community. I was able to have lunch with Sushmita and visit with Chandan (our sponsored children) while there that day.

Sushmita and Chandan {Travel}

Yesterday was one of the best days we have experienced here. We were able to meet our sponsored kids, Shushmita and Chandan. They both live in the Madanpur Khadar Slum Community. It was truly a heart touching experience. There are really no words to express what we felt. Sushmita's family was so gracious. We had a great time of visiting in their home and sharing tea together. We were also blessed to meet Sushmita's grandmother. At Chandan's home we visited with his mother and sister. They told stories of him and their family. Both Sushmita and Chandan brought out their schoolbooks to show us what they have been learning.

Patsy is so great with kids and had a connection with the mothers that went beyond and way past the language barrier. All I know is that there were hugs and tears with no words but you knew what was being "said." Again, truly one of the best days here...a day we will never forget.

If you sponsor a child through any organization, a trip to meet the kids will totally change your perspective on what your sponsorship does and the HUGE impact it has. We had an idea but I don't believe truly understood until visiting the school and the kids in their homes.

We sponsor our kids through Children's Hope Chest via Andy Melvin and the Unlikely Sons, one of the worship bands at our church, the Austin Stone Community Church. The band was in India a few months back and returned with a passion for the kids at the Good Samaritan School... particularly the 3rd grade class. They committed to sponsor the class all the way through graduation and we joined them in this commitment by sponsoring two of those kids through the Unlikely Sons and Daughters Fund. For more information about Children's Hope Chest and the work they do in India, visit http://www.hopechest.org/india/.

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Church in Madanpur Khadar {Travel}

Sunday went to church with Ananthi on the outskirts of the slums. It always amazes me how comfortable it is and the connection I experience when worshipping with other believers in another country and who speak a different language. The beauty of worshipping the same God together is just so cool...a small glimpse of what it will be like in heaven.