Tania.jpegA pilgrim heading for the baths in Rajasthan, India.  Photo by Tania Amochaev.

When the above photo was screened at the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference in Corte Madera this year, I heard the audience catch its breath. We were stunned! Tania is becoming a regular winner at this renowned conference, both for her writing AND her photos. We have been lucky enough to have her along on two of our Deep Travel trips to Morocco. She adds a creative, open, energetic and steadfast energy to the group, so we always love it when she comes along (We are hoping she will join us on our Deep Travel Granada trip this year!). She is also always happy to show people how to use their iPhone cameras more skillfully.

Tania’s life of travel started when her family became refugees from Yugoslavia before she was a year old. The United States was Tania‘s third country, and English her third language, as she was raised bilingual in Russian and Serbo-Croatian. Since moving on from a career as a technology executive, she has climbed Mount Whitney and Mount Kenya, circumnavigated Annapurna, trekked through Bhutan, Kashmir and Morocco, and sailed along the Nile, the Ganges and a remote river in Burma. She landed in Nairobi the day of the terrorist attack in 2013 and proceeded on a walk across that country from near Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean. Today, Tania draws on this broad ranging background in her writing, adding a unique perspective to observations of the world around her.

This photo of a pilgrim in Rajasthan represents a shift for Tania. She used to spend most of her time capturing intimate nature scenes–flowers, trees and rocks. She also liked taking photos of abandoned houses. After her husband died two years ago, she unconsciously began taking photos of people. This shift became conscious when she was listening to photographer Freeman Patterson talk about the way his pictures reveal his emotional state before he is even aware of it.

“As he was speaking, I understood what had happened to me,” Tania explains.

To see more of her work, visit her website here.

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