This is a series of portraits I took in Hopeland, Greece. I had the opportunity to volunteer for one month in an ecovillage and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had. I was fortunate enough to join a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers from across Europe who all strived to find a connection with themselves and others. As a photographer, I documented parts of this journey by taking portraits within Hopeland.
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My approach to these portraits was to focus on the authenticity of each person. I prefer not to stage or let people pose in front of my camera. I also experimented with the scenery and the beautiful lighting that we had during our stay. Besides documenting the activities we did as volunteers, I also wanted to capture the community that we were building as a group. It felt like a family in which we had the space to laugh and cry together.
Social Media manager
One of the tasks I signed up for was managing Hopeland’s social media channels. By creating content on a daily basis, I could create posts for both Instagram and Facebook. Together with another volunteer, we created a strategy and upload schedule. This way we could share our volunteering process every week.
When we were almost halfway through our month, I created a short video. This video shared the story of two farmers who helped us transform a garden in Hopeland. Their portraits, paired with video, perfectly captured the essence of our time volunteering in Greece. You can watch the video on Instagram by clicking here.
My experience as a volunteer was beyond my expectations. I knew it would be labor-intensive and I really learned to know myself better. I did not expect how much I would receive in return. While feeling part of this amazing community, I could deepen my love for photography, and also reconnect with myself. I do believe that you receive more than you realize when you focus on giving. Each contribution to giving, however small it might be, will have a positive impact and could potentially change the world.