Starting the second half
I am back in Phnom Penh for the second half of my time in Cambodia. I have been slowed down slightly by a pretty significant head cold, but I think I am on the upswing. That being said, the last week has been an eventful one. It was great to visit my home from when I served in the U.S. Peace Corps and remember how important time the family that I stayed with and the place is. I also think that stepping away from work is sometime the best way to gain more clarity and perspective on what the work that is being created is saying.
By being able to give myself some time to think and process the first half of the trip there is an opportunity to reflect on what I am seeing and photographing. This time for reflection is essential for a photographer that is working on a longer/larger project. It is important because sometimes I can get so wrapped up in a project and photographing that I may not listen as closely or think clearly about the process. The story sort of begins to be controlled by my vision and this means I am driving the story. I don't think this is always the right way for many stories.
We, as photographers, need to let the story be told by those that are experiencing it. Giving our own ego a break and stepping away has allowed me to pump the breaks on my goals. It also has allowed me to continue to experience more and more components of life in Cambodia. Utilizing more time and experience allows for a more nuanced approach when photographing. Although I will never be Cambodian, I continue to learn with each day and work to create images that speak to the truth of Cambodians in a dignified and broad way. This is why it is important to photograph a 20th anniversary of a university, a fisherman, an ice cream seller and a portrait of Tet. I hope that the variety in information and context within these images does not limit the scope of life here, but speak honestly about the day-to-day.