Using her superpowers for good, Melissa Findley regularly employs photography to help raise awareness and money for charities around the world. Lost & Found spoke to her about Nepal, inspirational prose, and the beauty of imperfection.
What do you love about photography, compared to other mediums?
Photography’s a tool that can be used in infinite ways – to travel to a moment in time, to tell a story, and to take your viewers on a journey.
What’s a favourite place to visit?
I’m currently in Pokhara Lakeside, Nepal. This country has my heart, due to the mighty Himalaya, but also because I’m reminded of the strength and resilience of the human sprit, the connection to nature, and the overwhelming kindness of the Nepali people.
To me, impermanence and imperfection is beautiful.
What sort of subjects do you love shooting?
Travel, to escape and be immersed in my environment. Portraits, to connect, human to human, without words.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get a shot?
Spending the majority of my time alone in a foreign country, driving for hours, sleeping under the stars, and putting myself in the way of beauty. If that’s crazy, then sign me up! I hope to live this way forever.
What are the basic building blocks to a great photo?
We live in a society enamoured by epic moments and to the image of perfection. To me, impermanence and imperfection is beautiful. Find your point of difference. Feel it with your heart, there’s no satisfaction in aimlessly shooting.
Best bit of life advice you’ve been given?
A piece of writing, which resonates with me: “Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” ― Jon Krakauer.
Which country are you yet to visit, but really want to?
Egypt is a lifelong dream and love affair with the ancient world.