Dreams of the World: Newlyweds, from China to Central Park.

This post is the latest in the series Dreams of the World, which profiles interesting people Kike meets during his travels.

Sunday morning in Central Park, New York. © KIKE CALVO


Lei and Ming just got married. They both love traveling. Ming, 27, dreams of traveling around the world to see different scenery and meet different people. ¨ I want to become someone who can have the influence one day to help others live a better life and make the world a little bit different. ¨I would love to have my very own photography studio someday,¨Lei explains to me. ¨I wish I could keep traveling and record fun moments and meet interesting people along the way.

They newly wed couple originally come from China. ¨We went to school in Michigan,¨ describes Lei. ¨But then we moved to start work in New York. We love central park, that is why we chose this location for our wedding photographs. The park is one of the most well-known places in Manhattan, it has beautiful views and joyful people.¨

In the midst of their happiness and excitement, during the moment I was capturing them together, they both referred to childhood moments. ¨I learned to play the piano and electronic piano for around nine years,¨explains Ming, beautifully fitted in her white bright wedding dress. ¨One of my best memories is that I won a National electronic piano competition and got a brand new electronic piano as the prize¨. Lei refers to how she hated going to the dentist. ¨I remember when I was six and I had a bad tooth that needed to be pulled out. I literally ran away from home and hid from my parents for a whole day. My mother finally caught me in the late afternoon and dragged me into the dentist’s office, but I kept struggling and tore apart the dentist’s watchband! All the efforts failed to save my tooth in the end, but the dentist was kind enough not to ask me to pay him back for the watch.¨

“I still remember having a small TV set and a bicycle as the only two valuable things in the whole family,¨ Lei mentions.  Now a days many of our relatives have already bought their own cars. I will never forget the astonishing moment in the 90’s when my father brought back home a cell phone as big as a brick.  Now a lot of kids in China have their own smart phones. China is growing together with the rest of the world, while pressing the fast forward button to play catch up. China has changed a lot in every aspect. Ming interrupts. ¨It’s always sad to say goodbye to your family and know that you won’t be able to come back home in a long time.¨


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Human Journey

Meet the Author
Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos. Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others. Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe. You can travel to Colombia with Kike: www.colombiaphotoexpeditions.com