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Although outsiders view Iran as a nation driven by strict religious rule, a photographer offered a little-known view inside the lives of Iranians via a series of stunning pictures. With sweeping hillsides, mountain abodes, and images of a thriving youth community, it appears the conservative values that have defined Iran are shifting rapidly as well.

New Zealand photographer Amos Chapple, who has worked for a variety of publications as a freelancer, visited Iran three times between December 2011 and January of this year. Although the Iranian government has publicly shunned outside ideals, it appears that the chilly reception expected for foreigners wasn’t the impression Chappele was left with.

From the Daily Mail:

It is perceived as one of the most introverted countries in the world with a policy of eradicating any outside influence from foreign nations.

But photographer Amos Chapple said the real surprise of Persia was not its untouched and beautiful countryside, but how different it is from ‘western perceptions of the country’.

And he claims while the government continues its anti-western campaign, he found a growing discontent among the country’s youth who were embarrassed by the actions of its leaders.

‘I think because access for journalists is so difficult, people have a skewed image of what Iran is – the regime actually want to portray the country as a cauldron of anti-western sentiment so they syndicate news footage of chanting nutcases which is happily picked up by overseas networks.

Chapple has visited 59 countries during his career, working for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, The Atlantic among other publications.

See photos from Chapple’s Iran visits on the following pages.

Photos: Amos Chapple

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