On November 27th, Barry Shaffer Photography will embark on an incredible journey. The Tourism Council of Bhutan and Yangphel Adventure Travel have invited and sponsored us on an assignment to photograph their country of Bhutan. Our journey begins in Eastern Bhutan, often called “the last frontier of the Himalayas”, where we will experience some of the country’s most ancient and spiritual settings. Our journey will include conventional transportation as well as trekking, taking us across the country through the village of Drongthang, the capital city of Thimphu, the villages surrounding Paro, and Bhutan’s fertile valleys. This amazing opportunity grants us unparalleled access to the most rare, secluded and pristine scenes in one of the most remote regions of the world.
We feel privileged to be given this unique opportunity to capture photographs that depict the Buddhist culture of Bhutan. Bhutan is well known abroad for its signature quality of life indicator, Gross National Happiness, which prioritizes civic contentment, cultural preservation and environmental sustainability above material development. The images we capture will be made available to Bhutan’s Tourism Department and published, with the generous help of Barry Shaffer Photography, into a fine art photography book. The proceeds of this book will be donated to a foundation of the Bhutanese government’s choosing. In addition, Barry Shaffer will donate professional Nikon equipment and Adobe software and teach a Bhutanese photographer the skills of fine-art photography. With this training, we aspire to provide Bhutan’s tourism department the ability to produce it’s own beautiful photography in the future.
By exposing the world to Bhutan’s unique culture and the principles behind Gross National Happiness, we hope to promote the sustainable growth of Bhutan’s tourism industry and, in turn, help the Bhutanese government provide for the happiness and well-being of its people. In order to maximize our impact and benefit to the government of Bhutan, we are launching a social media campaign to keep our followers up to date on our project. You follow us on this blog or on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also see glimpses of Bhutan’s beauty from previous years at BarryShafferPhotography.com.
We look forward to keeping our contacts at home up to date through this amazing journey with photographs and reflections in our social media. Thank you for your interest and see you back in the states!
Barry Shaffer, Photographer
Barbara Shaffer, Researcher/Humanitarian
Jill Rosenberg, Social Media Coordinator