Anna Betts’ first guided photo walk in Siem Reap will be held on Sunday, with a tour that takes keen amateur and professional snappers along the town’s riverside, through markets, pagodas and the Royal Gardens.
Anna has been taking creative pictures of Cambodia since she arrived here in 2008, and finally launched herself as a professional photographer just over a year ago. She is known for her capacity to pull beautiful photographs out of almost any context.
Now the self-taught photographer is keen to share some of her skills, experience and local knowledge with locals and visitors alike, with a new monthly series of photo walks around Siem Reap.
For locals in particular, she hopes not just to pass on some technical tips and tricks, but also to help them look on the world around them with a fresh eye.
“When you live somewhere, it can be a challenge to see photographs in the things you see every day. I want to bring back the exotic, and let people see things anew and perhaps see them differently from how they did before, even when it really was all new,” Betts says.
She is keen to emphasise that there are no technical requirements for the walks, just a willingness to learn, and to enjoy taking photographs, whether for fun or money.
“It’s meant to be fun, not a competition,” she says. “I don’t even know what the label ‘serious photographer’ means anyway, and I’m certainly not fighting with anyone over the length of my lens.”
In fact, for those taking part, a camera is not even necessary.
“My phone takes bloody great pictures,” Betts says. “All you have to do is frame it well and remember a few rules like keeping horizons straight, and don’t have trees growing out of people’s heads.”
The groups will be limited in size, most likely to a maximum of 10, which will allow Betts to engage with participants and let them benefit from the protection of a group setting.
The tours will meet at 1961, the former hotel and now co-working space, where the group can discuss some of their aims over coffee before taking off.
Betts has also created a dedicated Facebook page, Siem Reap Photo Walk, where interested snappers can find further details and make a booking.