Monk With A Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland | 2014
Nicholas (Nicky) Vreeland, the grandson of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, walked away from a life of privilege to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk in 1972. He moved to India, cut his ties with his pleasure-filled world, and began living in a monastery with no running water or electricity, where he would spend the next 14 years studying to become a monk. Conversations with actor Richard Gere, his Holiness the Dalai Llama, and Vreeland's Buddhist teacher Khylongla Rinpoche, among many others, chronicle Vreeland's cultural and spiritual journey, as well as his lifelong (and often conflicting) relationship with photography. Trained early on by famed American photographer Irving Penn, Vreeland developed a sophisticated aesthetic and was on a path to become a world-class photographer himself. But once a monk, he abandoned his cameras to focus on his studies and devote himself to a monastic life. In an ironic twist of fate, Nicky went back to photography in part to help rebuild the monastery after the 2008 economic crisis left them without much-needed financial assistance.