go behind the scenes of our journey
This page is all about the moments you don’t tend to see via our social media and videos, because while a photo might take one one-hundreth of a second to take, there’s normally much more to the story behind each photo and film we produce. So bookmark this page and join the journey to see the birth of the a million smiles feature film and book.
While we haven't yet published the video we were filming here, this was a short piece we filmed with a group of women from the USA who had come to Phnom Penh to lend a helping hand to some local women who were responsible for housing many orphaned children. The US women were taking the local women for a day of pampering, giving them pedicures and manicures. What I loved was that they literally got down on their hands and knees and cleaned and made the local women feel not only beautiful, but on the same level as them.
As he sat and told me about his journey, there were many things that startled me. For one, he had been an alcoholic for some time in his younger days, before turning to the Monastry about 15 years ago. When I asked him “do you think people need to understand darkness in order to appreciate light?” He replied, “Of course, for without one's sense of their darker side, and ability to control it, we cannot find true happiness, for life will never be 100 per cent good, but our mind can be.”
Curled up in a train in Malaysia, I was photographing a father looking after his disabled child. It was evident that kids with this sort of condition were shunned by most, which made the fathers open and unforgiving love for his little boy that much more beautiful. It is an image that will stick with me forever, and may be stored in my mind for those darker days, when I need a lift.
It is funny. Whenever I stop to play around with groups of young kids, there is often a moment of complete fear in the eyes of the first child I throw into the air. But after they realise it is completely safe, lines form and the result is normally a sore back for days. But it's absolutely worth it to see the looks on their faces.
From buying a local map from this wheelchair bound man, to meeting his entire family and finding out he worked day in day out to send his children to school, the entire experience was nothing short of completely inspiring. Really puts some of our first world problems into perspective when you stand there and all he has to say is positive about his life and the world.