Who Are We?
We are a community of INDIE TRAVELLERS who are passionate about travel and visual storytelling through photography and films.
Our specialties are travel and conservation photography. We conduct photography workshops, travels and expeditions to support social, cultural and environmental causes around Asia.
We provide participants with a unique opportunity and experience to learn photography on location, and to create an effective storytelling through this medium.
We conduct school talks to engage our younger generations on how visual story telling can help to achieve conservation goal or any causes that they believe in. We provide training opportunities to youths and disadvantage communities on photography as an added skill.
We are also hired by international tour and travel companies, natural history museums, non-governmental organisations and schools to conduct workshops and lead expeditions related to travel and conservation photography.
Who Are Our Participants?
Photographers of all levels, NGO communicators, travellers, schools and youth who wants to learn effective storytelling using photography and who has a special interest in the subjects that we offer such as travel, nature conservation, unique culture and people.
Making A Difference
When we plan our photography workshops and travels at various locations, we take into consideration the triple-bottom-line approach to weight ecological, economic and social aspects:
ECOLOGICAL: Minimising Our Impact On The Environment
We adhere to local conditions and limits set by local carrying capacity in the host location. We keep our group size to a maximum of 8 persons. Such group size is to minimise impact on delicate and natural areas that we visit. It is also for safety reason. Ultimately, to provide more personalised coaching to every participant.
We travel in small groups to avoid intrusion on people when photographing. This gives photographers more time and space to capture the best and foster better people interaction.
We reduce our carbon footprint by using less vehicle whenever possible. We explore on foot as much as we can.
For overseas location, we try to plan our workshops during the off-peak period to prevent over-straining of resources. We encourage participants to support travelling during the low season, not just to avoid the crowd but to be part of a continual support for the communities that rely on tourism income. The rest of our workshops are planned in the beginning and ending of high tourists seasons yet within the best time of the year to visit the host location.
ECONOMIC: Giving Back To The Local Communities
We utilise services that are offered by local suppliers who are licensed tour operators and local communities. This is to ensure that we generate income back to the host communities through services such as guides, accommodation and transportation. We purchase, where possible, local produce.
We always include areas that are less frequented by tourists so we can generate income to these local communities. Also, this gives our participants the chance to explore and document unique places, culture and people along the way.
SOCIAL: Fulfilling Our Social Responsibility
We support local projects that are related to environmental conservation and local community development. We raise awareness on responsible travel practices in our pre-trip briefing.
We are always supportive of community-based conservation initiatives. For example, the Kinabatangan – Rasig Project in Malaysian Borneo is a collaboration with between the local people and Indie Travellers to demonstrate the mechanism of conserving nature through ecotourism. This project is to safeguard a land which is critical to wildlife movement. The land could have been turned to an oil palm plantation by the land owner. We conduct conservation photography workshop on location to raise the awareness. Profit from the workshop sales help with raising funds for the project.
Our Komodo National Park photography expedition in Indonesia supports a community education and conservation funds. This is to encourage children in the village to have extra curriculum on the subject of conservation as well as to enable students to complete their primary education. We seek donation of compact cameras from everywhere for the school. We teach basic photography to the students so they will be able to document what is precious to them. This is to encourage future generation to appreciate their heritage.
We run fundraising programmes by organising photography expeditions to support the conservation of the Heart Of Borneo in West Kalimantan Borneo This is a collaboration with KOMPAKH, a community-based ecotourism organisation initiated by WWF Indonesia. Heart Of Borneo consists of the last remaining rainforest and wetlands ecosystem of Borneo with many endangered, endemic and some undiscovered wildlife species.
In 2015, we introduced our Nepal expedition for a cause as our contribution to the earthquake relief and building of children’s home by the Early Childhood Development Centre. Our Nepal expeditions continue to support this cause in 2016 and onwards.
Join Us To Make A Difference.
Our Stand On Animals In Captivity
We do not support any activities that involves animals in captivity. That includes elephant ride safari which we have stopped since our last trip to Nepal in 2014. As much as possible and based on the level of safety, we will use the river or jeep to get to a spot for wildlife observation if not on foot. Visits to crocodile breeding farms, elephants or any animal enclosures will not be included in our programme if there is no conservation goals and objectives by these centres.
“I went near to this gentle giant because he looked so sad. I heard his cry and sound of whipping a night before from the lodge that I stayed for the night. This was one of the elephants used to transport visitors within Chitwan National Park for wildlife viewing. No animals should be in captivity and mistreated. Elephants need large spaces to move around and to survive”, said Caroline Pang, the founder and lead photographer of Indie Travellers.
Photo credit: Claude Pesant.
We are interested to collaborate with on-location photographers, writers or even travellers who are interested in making a difference in their travel, who are passionate about nature and cultural preservations, and ultimately with awesome ideas. Please drop us a line to tell us about you.
Businesses, companies or organisations that are working on social, cultural and environmental issues, and utilise photography and film as an important part of their communications medium, drop us a line to see what we can do together.