Photographing the rise of a monk to master

Boy what a weekend it has been! On Sunday I was commissioned by the Irving Laos Temple to photograph a ceremony for the rising of a monk master. I’ve never done anything like this in my life and I admit was at first skeptical about taking on the gig, but I figured attempting some photojournalism isn’t going to kill me.

It was probably one of the most exciting moments I’ve had experience while photographing another individual. I was given access to where people normally wouldn’t be able to pass. I was able to get up close to these monks and was able to get even closer to the monk master.

During the watering ceremony outdoors I was sweating more than I ever had in my life, but I didn’t really notice it till afterwards. I was so engaged at the emotions that were expressed by the master as his followers were drenching him in something that was equivalent to that of holy water.

Being only less than 3 feet away from him while this was all happening, I felt a real connection to my subject. I felt the master’s emotions, captured his tears, and his aurora of happiness as he was rising to power. I felt the serenity that was part of the Buddhist faith. It was so unreal.

I hope to get more up-close and personal gigs like this in the future. This was amazing! Check out the highlight images after the jump.

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