On the first day of my photography school, I had to stand up in class, introduce myself, and explain what kind of a photographer I dreamt of being. To this, I proudly stated, “I want to shoot for the The National Geographic”. Later, I would learn that three years prior to my own announcement, a Swiss girl named Janine had done the same thing. Now, 14 years since that time, neither one of us are Geographic shooters. But, we did meet while applying for a NGS internship and we did shoot numerous assignments for the now defunct National Geographic Adventure. Maybe it is all for the best.
As professional Mountain Sport photographers, we know that having to shoot what you love instead of always just wanting to shoot what you love, sometimes turns it into, well, work. So, each fall we like to take a break from the mountains and go do what we enjoy most about photography, diving into another culture, wandering around, and photographing all the details and scenarios that we stumble upon. Not for work, but for fun.
Vietnam and Cambodia were this year’s destination. There we found a Southeast Asia in a frantic state of development where first world desires are colliding with third world traditions. As so often happens, it is the third world which provides all the color and character.
While shooting in this style we study life, both external and internal, in the hopes of finding beauty within chaos. I tend to focus on segments of the overall while Janine likes to pull back and show the larger picture.
To wake in the pre-dawn darkness and hop onto our rented motorbike, then to buzz along the coastline towards a chaotic fish market, this is our personal little National Geographic assignment.