Tonya Damron Photography

Thailand || A Photographers Heart || Knoxville TN Humanitarian Photographer

Serving people through world missions, it hasn’t always been my heart, but today I can say I couldn’t see my life without missions in it. This photographers heart has been changed beyond measure about this great big world and the people living in it. We, the people of the world are more alike than different. Regardless of race, sex or status we all need the same basic things to survive…love is one of those things.

What does a little more love look like?  On this particular day in Thailand, it was sharing a cup of coffee with friends on a small coffee plantation in the mountains of Chiang Mai . The coffee was so strong it was like lightening in my veins, I made a comment about that fact and everyone at the table laughed. We laughed so hard I think even the lady making the coffee smiled. We take for granted seeing people smile, because as you can tell in the photos below she probably don’t have a lot of carefree moments in her life. Lifting the load of others, even for a moment…that’s what “more love” looks like to me.

Today has been a day where the call of being a humanitarian photographer is strong on my heart. Did I choose this for myself? No, I didn’t even have in my plans for my life as being a photographer, must-less a humanitarian photographer. I’ll admit, the traveling part is fun, but the raising funds, the feeling like a beggar, being misunderstood and seeing things you wish you didn’t are all part of the journey. There are some amazing sights to see and amazing people to meet, so I take it in stride as I walk in this calling.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve traveled on a mission trip. It’s honesty been way to long but in the in-between times since my last trip a lot has happened and God knew those things would happen. So here I am, in tears as He speaks to my heart to pick myself up, grab my camera and serve with the talent He has given me once again.

The staring started when a few people started asking me about where I’d be serving next a few months ago, then this week over lunch with my friend Callie, then two emails yesterday from a friend in Mexico and then Africa. I think its so weird when we just stop what we are doing for a moment and listen, we can hear Him. He’s always trying to get our attention, I just think we are so preoccupied we can’t hear him (even if those things are good things)

I have a few opportunities this year, but I’m praying on where to go and also how to raise the funds. I don’t have those answers yet and I’m not fast to move these days without clear direction. As you follow my journey in the photos below from my day off (of serving) in Chiag Mia and exploring the countryside, say a prayer for me for direction in this call.


Tonya Damron

Knoxville TN Humanitarian Photographer