My name is Sophia. I'm a photographer based in Vancouver, BC. I will be traveling to Southeast Asia in December to document stories for In Better Hands. In Better Hands is a foundation dedicated to the rescue and restoration of children at risk of being trafficked or who have been trafficked. I will be visiting safe homes where the children live in Cambodia and Myanmar as well as their new ‘Hope for the Village’ project in Cambodia. I will document and share stories about vulnerable children and the challenges they face in countries where human trafficking is a great issue.
I will need your support to cover my travel expenses and to raise funds for In Better Hands and the work they are doing. I am connected to the organization through a friend I met while in China, after graduating from medical school. That is actually how my photography journey started.
My earliest memories of wanting to be a photographer started in China where I was studying to become a doctor. I studied clinical medicine and surgery and interned in hospitals in Dalian. I remember witnessing sick people turned away because they were too poor to pay for treatment or bribe doctors. I assisted in clinics where abortions were issued every day because of the single child policy. I watched people pass away because they were left without family or care. It was heartbreaking to take in.
I remember feeling helpless witnessing the brokenness that was happening around me. I wrote stories on my blog that was shut down by the government because there was no freedom of speech. I began creating photos during that time and that is how photography started for me. Art to me has always been a shelter, a place where I could find beauty, light, and hope. Art brings me joy.
In 2013, I moved to Vancouver, Canada, to pursue my photography career. In the last few years, I’ve photographed people, weddings, families, products, and social media campaigns. I’ve traveled and went on volunteer trips to India and Bangladesh. I moved back to my hometown in Taiwan and wrote stories about my family and built fundraisers for indigenous children in need of educational resources. Through photography, I’ve developed my voice, my passion, and a medium to tell stories through imagery and words.
If I could photograph anything for the rest of my life — I want it to be people — their stories, their beauty, and the places they come from. I come from a culture where many women are raised to be silent, to endure, and to sacrifice. I realize the opportunity I have been given as a first generation immigrant and the stories I am able to share with people from different worlds.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. This is a project I have always wanted to work on. I really appreciate your support that will help me share the stories of others.
All proceeds from this fundraiser will cover my travel expenses and go towards supporting In Better Hands.
Cambodia + Myanmar visa: $100
Room and board: $700