It was around this time that the heat over 110 degrees and grittiness of the jungle started getting to Markus. When he refused to show me what the shots were looking like on the viewfinder—something he’s never done before—I realized that he was shutting down. Then when he yelled at me, I instinctively knew it was time to snap him out of his funk. My approach was more forceful than usual, but in the end, the benefit of working together as closely as we do, is that when you really need to, you can offer some tough love. And that’s part of the reason we never fail to execute, and this was no exception.
I think something else that contributed to the tension of the situation, was that it meant a lot to Indrani that we see this side of her and share this magical place where she’d grown up. And I really wanted Markus to acknowledge that.
That’s why it was reassuring when Markus got to see the children at Indrani’s school and he finally understood what the whole trip had meant to her.
For me seeing the children was very personal. I remember when I was going to school in India it broke my heart to see so many children my age excluded from a decent education because of poverty. As a foreigner receiving an education I felt a lot of guilt. Seeing Indrani taking on this problem and getting to be a part of that, meant a lot to me. I really admire her and her father for this work of love.
In the end, coming home to the photo exhibit and getting a chance to step back and look at what we’d all accomplished together over these past nine years that I’ve worked with them was a really wonderful experience. But more than just seeing the work we produced, I feel like we all got a chance to stand back and take a fresh look at each other, and realize how far we’ve all come.