Leigh Righton, Photography

Two Girls – India

I have so many stories from my trip to Sri Lanka and India last October that I guess you could say I’ve been saving them up, hoping to find the right outlet. Even with all these months passed since my return, I still find myself at a loss as to where to begin and what to share.  I am still digesting it all, 8 months later.

I am working on an exhibition to cover my work with the kids in the Sri Lanka and India Orphan Sponsorship International programs, but while that may still be months down the road, I’ve felt compelled to start sharing parts of my journey now.  I can’t tell you why I’m starting with these images, my library from our adventures is full and diverse, but you’ve got to start somewhere and for no known reason at all, this is where I’ll begin.

In India we were  introduced to a group of 42 beautiful young girls involved with the OSI program in India.  These two girls were not a part of the program, but they had snuck into the big open room where we were getting to know the OSI girls.   I had just given a few girls some point-and-shoot cameras and was watching them start to practice.  At one point, I noticed these two girls sitting off to the side watching.  I walked over to them, said hello and giggled with them for a few minutes.  For some reason I found smiles and laughter to be a common way for me to introduce myself to the kids I met there, it worked well since we couldn’t communicate with each other with out native languages.  These two were very sweet and smiley, and pretty quickly they jumped up and waved me over to another area of the building. With every step they would  look over their shoulders to check that I was still with them. They made sure I saw everything in the room by pointing around at each object.  Then they had me walk with them through an arched doorway that felt a little like a hidden cave.  This is where they stood proudly and rather epically. This was obviously the big deal room, even though it was small, it felt important. After the short tour we headed back up to the group.  A few minutes later I saw one of the program facilitators ask them to leave.  Woops, I think I got them in trouble…





Leigh Righton, Photography

Inside Applied Arts Photo Award Annual

Exciting to see one of my images from my trip to India inside the hard copy of the Applied Arts Photo and Illustration Awards Annual.  Page 149!

You can also find it online on the Applied Arts Magazine website.  CLICK HERE

As always, big thanks to Orphan Sponsorship International for the incredible experience.

Applied Arts Cover



Orphan Sponsorship International Photos on Display

I recently partnered up with Jennifer Picard and her initiative, Sunshine Children Photo Project (Africa) with my photo project with the kids of Orphan Sponsorship International (India & Sri Lanka), to display the photography of the children we worked with in different parts of the world.

The collaborative works can be found in Vancouver at Higher Grounds Cafe.

2300 West Broadway (Broadway & Vine)

All of the 8×10 prints are available by donation (suggested price $30)

You can also purchase a selection of OSI images in the online store if you would like to support the project but can’t make it into the cafe.


Leigh Righton

Video – Orphan Sponsorship International

This may be more of a memory keepsake for myself and travel companions and the kids we worked with in Sri Lanka and India, but I think the smiles and joy is contagious!  Thank you to Nick Hindman of Orphan Sponsorship International for having us and helping us, and thanks Jennifer Hee and Charlyne Yi for being the best travel buddies ever!

Video by Charlyne Yi:

Leigh Righton, Photography

Orphan Sponsorship International- Photo Project

To those who aren’t familiar with my current travels and the project I’m involved with, here’s a little rundown.

While this trip has been in the making for almost two years, my two friends and I have finally joined in Sri Lanka and now India to visit with and work with Orphan Sponsorship International. We began in Sri Lanka where we stayed in an apartment alongside the 10 wonderful kids who live in the boarding house created by OSI.  Nick Hindman is the founder of the organization, and a true hero.  I wish I could find the words to describe how selfless and inspiring this man is.

Before I traveled I reached out to my friends and the online community asking for any old point and shoot cameras that were collecting dust to be donated to a project I wanted to do with the kids.  Thanks to these generous people, I was able to put 6 cameras in the hands of eager kids across the world.

Our time in Sri Lanka was much more intense, we were able to see the kids whenever they weren’t in class and were able to spend a lot of time getting to know them and working with them more closely.  We learned one of their dances and picked up a few words, it was a learning exchange.  I showed the kids some photography and my friend worked on music with them.

During our visit in Pune India with the program there, we had a more limited opportunity to spend with the girls.  Here there was no boarding house, but a program in place that worked with 42 kids within the Janata Vasahat slum community.  We were able to join them on a number of their activities, and one FULL field trip day into the India country side.  We were also honored to be invited into their homes where we visited some of their families and met with the kids one on one, what an experience!  I was able to work with four of the 42 kids in the group on this photo project and their eyes sparkled when they took hold of the cameras, it was so much fun to work with them, even with the limited time we had together.

Both the boarding house in Sri Lanka and the girls in Pune India were given the cameras to continue the project.  I am hoping to follow up in a future trip to continue our workshops and work together.

When I return home I will begin to work on the next phase of the project and I look forward to sharing it with you!