52 week challenge

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi. Stranger Challenger week 10

I was the first person to enter the library room filled with chairs. I was excited for this speech of a

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi.

While waiting, I was able to finish and to send out my newsletter. And then I had the time to wait even more. The room was filling out. Mostly older people, women in general. I’ve noticed only a few older gentleman among the room filled with women.
I was getting more and more curious. Who is she? How does she look? How does she speak? I’ve never met a Buddhist monk, not to mention a female Buddhist nun.

When she entered the room, I couldn’t stop looking at her. Over 6 foot tall, shaved bold, in robes. A little hunched, like she wanted to make herself a little smaller, less standing out of the crowd.

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi-1

She had a very gentle voice, but with this permanent smile, it seemed like. She had a wonderful sense of humor. She made the whole room laugh quite a lot while talking about her journey to become a buddhist nun.

And I’ll tell you that, she has a quite the story.

A daughter of scientists who were as far from religion as you can think. Hard core hippy teenager who started her journey with meditation at age 15 (after having to go through 2 weeks of abstinence from smoking pot).  LOL

After getting a master degree in biochemistry and working in the field for quite sometime, she bought one way ticked to India. On her way to the mountains, to see Dalai Lama, he passed her in his car, leaving for 4 month tour of Europe.

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi-2

She also spoke about Simple Life. How not having to care of the “looks” and “stuff” made her become free. Feel free. And it just reminded me about something Elizabeth Gilbert once said: “Enlightenment almost always tastes like freedom”, which I think it’s a paraphrase of what once Buddha said.

She also spoke about this one mistake most people do. They often think about the meaning of life, and they want to seek the answer to this question. When the real question is:

How can people make their own lives meaningful“.

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi. Ewa Samples Photography

 

How can you make your life meaningful. How can I?

And I’ll leave you with that!

Ewa

Best coffee place Morgan Hill. Stranger Challenge week 9

Yesterday I googled “best coffee place Morgan Hill”. A friend’s visit forced me to think of more fun places to hang out than the good old Starbuck. So, in my google search, I found a place I walked by so many times planning to check it out someday.

When a desire for a fancier tea or quick coffee comes upon me, I almost always rely on the good old Starbucks or Peet’s. Despite being aware of the existence of different places where I could get a delicious drink from, like the one I visited today, I often pick Starbucks anyway. Because it’s safe. Because it’s reliable.

But today was different.

Best coffee place Morgan Hill tealite drink ewa samples photography

Today I visited TeaLite Drink. Place mostly serving boba tea.

I’ve walked by this place on many occasions since we moved to Moran Hill and always thought about stopping by there. So, yesterday after the google search and after some reading yelp reviews for this place, I’ve decided it’s time. Plus, a place that has “cards against humanity” on its shelves is a place worth visiting for sure!
While sitting inside and enjoying the Giant Peach tea, I told my friend I want the lady behind the counter to be my Stranger number 9. She started to laugh and said: “Mustering the courage to ask her. huh?” Well, yes. It’s something that it’s not really getting any easier to do, so far.

As we were getting ready to leave, I finally mustered the courage. And as usual, the experience was great. The welcoming smile, and super happy to help me with this project person on the other side of the camera. It always makes me wonder: what am I so scared of…

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52 week challenge – photographing strangers

Portrait of a stranger 52 week challenge with Ewa Samples Photography

I went pretty easy on myself this past week. Well, it didn’t feel like it was any easier than the past week, anyway. My first stranger, Rockie, was literally a stranger. I’ve never met her before. I’ve never seen her face before anywhere.

This week’s stranger(s) are my neighbors, really. But we were never introduce. We passed by each other almost every day, waving our heads “hi”, or saying “good morning” on the way to take our kids to school.

This 52 week challenge makes me think about relationships we have with people. Or is it me? I’m shy and nervous when it comes to approaching people I don’t know, but WHAT AM I SO AFRAID OFF, really?

Thanks to this project I can finally put a name to those two faces I see almost every day. It’s not a lot but at the same time, it is. Right?

How many people in your life have nameless faces? Because, being honest with you, my life is filled with them. Mom’s from my daughter’s school. Neighbors. People in a library (where I spend about 10 hours a week). It’s crazy. I just smile to them, and get back to my phone or computer, instead of asking about how they are doing…

It’s only funny how I approach this project. While during my regular sessions I can’t stop taking pictures of people. With this project I shoot once and run. When I’m on my computer looking at the photo(!), I regret not taking more pictures. I just don’t have the guts to stay there for any longer that’s required to take one picture.

I hope, the further I go with this project the more pictures I’ll be able to take of people.

In this photo:

” Michael and Junior”

52 week challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My partners in crime in this 52 week challenge are:

Ania Gajda from Ania Gajda Photography

Maryam Salassi from Hi and Hello Photography – Maryam is doing different 52, feel free to follow her journey.

Hailey Williams from Archer Inspired

Feel free to follow along!!!

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If you’d like to receive special offers straight to your email, feel free to sign to my newsletter.

 

Portrait of a stranger 52 Photography Project

Portrait of a stranger 52 Photography Project with Ewa Samples Photography – STRANGER no 1. 

Many, many years ago, I have done a 365 project (one photograph a day for a year), with self portraits. It was an awesome journey. Since that project, each year, I though about doing something similar, but couldn’t find an idea that interesting and challenging enough. The self portrait project was VERY challenging for my super self-conscious person. I wasn’t comfortable with it. Sometimes I had push myself very hard to finish it. And I did. And it was a life changing experience.

So, this year I asked around and found several friends interested in joining similar project. We agreed on a 52 Challenge that will require from us to take one picture a week of a stranger.

Each week we will be blogging about it, and sharing the photos we took.

A short story behind the photograph I took last week:

My Strange’s no.1 name is Rockie. I met her in Morgan Hill public library. She was putting make up in the ladies bathroom because she didn’t have the time to do it before she hurried out the house. Well, I know this pain way too good. After a small talk, we wished each other Happy New Year and I left. It was Friday. I felt, I’m running out of time with this project. However I felt scared and intimidated. Because how do you do it? How do you approach a stranger and ask if he/she is ok to be photographed. 

So I stormed back to the bathroom and explained her what I want to do and for what purposes. It felt so intimidating. But she said YES with a big smile on her face. And I was so relieved. 

So here she is, smiling kindly for me, sitting in Morgan Hill Public Library lobby. 

Thank you so much Rockie. YOU ROCK!!!

Portrait of a stranger 52 Photography Project

My partners in crime are:

Ania Gajda from Ania Gajda Photography

Maryam Salassi from Hi and Hello Photography – Maryam is doing different 52, feel free to follow her journey.

Hailey Williams from Archer Inspired

Feel free to follow along!!!

3-4_without silhuette

If you’d like to receive special offers straight to your email, feel free to sign to my newsletter.