Swaziland Stories - Nothabiso, 15 yrs

I was working on a video in Swaziland for a non-profit called Orma’s Orphans, (which I will be sharing soon) but after my first couple talks with Orma about the issues of young girls walking home, I was in shock. On average children in Swaziland walk over an hour to school each way. Putting many of them at risk of being lured by men for sex-trafficking, kidnapping or even being killed for rituals.

At one point Orma told me a story about a girl walking home from school that was too slow for her friends.
When Orma found out the girl was walking alone, she told the girls, “Walk Fast, Walk Together.”

The quote stuck with me. It represented something deeper in the culture and to women globally.

We soon had set up time for me to interview eight girls between the ages of 12-20. It was a long and emotional day.
Each and every one challenged my strength and opened my heart as I listened to their stories unfold.

TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_001.jpg

Throughout the years of growing in this role as a storyteller/photographer
I have continually asked myself:

  • Why am I drawn to this work?

  • What difference do I believe I can make?

  • Who am I to take up this space?

But each time, there is a fire burning within me saying...what if I can use these skills to bring you along with me?

What if something about listening to these precious voices lights a fire within you?

So I’m asking you to really listen.

To imagine yourself sitting in front of Nothabiso as she shares her story. To hold her hand as she says something is scary and tears swell in her eyes.

TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_015.jpg
TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_017.jpg
TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_018.jpg
TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_006.jpg
TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_007.jpg
DSC_2100.jpg
TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_009.jpg
TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_011.jpg

I will continue sharing each girl’s story over the next couple months. Please let me know if you enjoyed this way of storytelling.

Also, if you would be interested in hearing future interviews as a more formal podcast format?

Please leave some love below and let me know your thoughts!

-Tara

TaraShupe_Photography_Swaziland_HumanitarianPhotography_012.jpg

Swaziland Stories

I will be sharing each girls story over the next couple months, so stay tuned and leave some love!

Declutter Your Creativity

When you feel fear, you are on the threshold of something great. When you step through fear, there is always love on the other side. - Shaa Wasmund

TheNetherlands_Europe_TaraShupe_Photography_DSC_7282.jpg

How do you keep your creative brain decluttered when your life is madness? 

How do you stay on task and productive when you're constantly on the move? 

TheNetherlands_Europe_TaraShupe_Photography_DSC_7358.jpg

These are all questions I have always struggled with, but with our recent move to Europe my creative brain has felt even more dismantled. In an interesting way, I have looked at it like a challenge to dig deeper into my creative purpose. Instead of continuing to run around in 50 directions, what would it look like to jog steadily in one? 

I think we all can agree we would eventually get where we wanted a little sooner if we stayed on course, but staying focused with full creative tanks requires effort. 

Here are a few new things I have been trying to keep my body and creative soul clear and on track:

  1. A Green Drink: I love Amazing Grass products. I now crave it and it totally fuels my mornings. If you're not in the habit of downing greens in the mornings - try it! It has changed my world.
  2. Do Less, Get More: My new read from Shaa Wasmund. I made it a new goal to read 5-10 mins in the morning to help me set an intention for the day. She has so many good snippets of inspiration and I write down the ones I can carry through my day. 
  3. One Girl Band: New podcast that fellow photographer, Anna Purna recommended and I love it so far! It is geared toward women entrepreneurs and so far I love the advice she gives on honesty and staying productive.
  4. Coffee Shop Life: I am always surprised how escaping the physical clutter helps clear my creative juices. 
TheNetherlands_Europe_TaraShupe_Photography_DSC_7487.jpg

If you're interested in joining or following the journey of creative discovery/confusion feel free to subscribe below. 

-Tara 

BONUS GIVEAWAY: 

I'm partnering with JORD Watches to offer a $100 giveaway! Mine is the Dark Sandlewood & Smoke style and I LOVE it! 
ENTER TO WIN HERE: JORD Watch Giveaway