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Children shoot with the professionals


Children from Anjali take eagerly to the countryside to shoot photographs alongside professionals during a week-long workshop organised by the Angkor Photo Festival. WILL BAXTER

MORE than 40 underprivileged children took part in the 3rd annual Anjali Photo Workshops in Siem Reap.

Armed with a range of cameras and guided by seven professional photographers from across Asia, they set about documenting the world around them for a week, focusing on the people, wildlife and scenes in Siem Reap and the Tonle Sap lake area.

“I try to tell about the life of the people I photograph,” said 15-year-old Vong Pech, who is taking part in the workshop for the third time.

Vong Pech shyly admitted he had improved greatly since his first shot.

“Before my photos were really bad, but after [practising], this year it’s better,” he said. “I have learned about lines, the light, framing, reflections, and a lot of other skills, like trying to take photos from different angles.”

“We try to inculcate a sense of story-telling,” said Vidura Jang Bahadur, an instructor and freelance photographer from India. “They have learned a lot over time, but the main purpose is to have fun.”

“It’s a great learning experience for [the teachers] as well; you see the way [the children] shoot and it strips away all of the pretentions,” he said.

Samuel Flint, director of Anjali House, said that photography gives the children a chance to express themselves. “It’s nice for them to be able to do something where they get recognition and praise because they don’t necessarily get that at home.”

Anjali House, an NGO founded in 2006 by the Angkor Photography Festival Association, cares and educates about 80 children in Siem Reap. Ten children will display their work at this year’s Angkor Photo Festival.

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