Packing the latest in British Army gear, deployed to all corners of the earth, they are a living legend—the patch with the crossed khukris, the traditional Nepalese machetes, immediately identifies the soldier as a Gurkha. The Gurkhas have served in the British Army since 1815. In December 2014, the ultimate portrait of these fierce warriors was published. The book, coinciding with the 200-year anniversary of Gurkha service for the British Crown was, somewhat surprisingly, written by a female Austrian photographer. Her reflection is visible in the Gurkha’s sunglasses, pictured below.

We met Alex Schlacher for a chat and asked her about the story behind her monumental project.

The Making of "Arc of the Gurkha"

SOFREP: You’re a photographer, an Austrian, and a woman. How did you end up doing a project on the Gurkhas?