Monthly Archives: June 2010

Some Photography-Enthusiast at Buddha Park

You know when you want something so bad, you’ll do anything to get it and get it done.

I’ve been into photography since I was 16 when my brother handed down his SLR to me because he didn’t need it anymore. I was actually curious how to use that good old Olympus SLR, I knew there was something more in that camera than by just placing your subjects in the middle of the frame.

Alas, placing subjects in the middle of the frame is a cardinal sin in photography. Medium shots are deadly when you cut your subjects at wrong proportions. Light is your best friend and ironically, your worst enemy for it kills every possible angle if you don’t play it right. And a lot more rules and techniques an aspiring photographer learns along the way. There would still be a couple of bad photos here and there, but there would always be that best shot to die for.

And as for me, I am having the best relationship with my camera. It’s a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS bought in October 2008. In digital photography, having a gear that’s more than six-months old is considered ancient. I bought my lenses, a Canon AF 55-250mm telephoto and Sigma 10-20mm UWA in June 2009 and I am planning to purchase my first set of portable lights this month. It took me a year to get my lights just because I was contemplating if I needed them. It turns out, in my work, I need my very own studio photography gear to render kick-ass photos anytime, anywhere. Hopefully, I would be able to purchase a full-format this year, a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, that is.

Last Sunday, I had my very first “official” photoshoot*, and pestered my friends to model for me. I was so nervous that day because I was afraid something huge might go wrong and we would have to cancel the whole thing. But I think the activity was meant to happen because we pulled off an absolutely awesome shoot. My models were pretty fabulous that day, knowing that the venue is at Buddha Park** and that they would be sitting and be lying flat on the ground. That’s what interesting about Lao people, you never catch them sloppy-dressed, no matter how “regular” a venue can get. Everytime I go out with my friends, I end up looking like I just got out of bed.

Here are some outtakes from the shoot. I prayed for the sun to shine cos I can never have a summer-y shoot with rain. And guess what, it rained on the way home!

Meet Nouna

Cos I needed a tween, I asked Pa Dockeo, my mom’s colleague and a good friend, if I can get Nouna to model for me. She was more than delighted to let me borrow her daughter for the day.

This is Nouna...child-star in the making. This was a test-shot

I had fun shooting Nouna cos she’s easy to instruct and she’s a naturally-cheerful girl.

Big smile!

The Beauty of Laos (and Nouna’s new idols!)

My friends/models. It took a lot of pleading for me to convince them to give one early Sunday morning for me. So I was really thankful they agreed and showed up right on time.

A Walk in the Park. (L-R) PockLan, Mina, Sitthiphone

I’ve known Sitthiphone, or Noy, for a year. She’s my one of my besties here and she also happens to be a cover girl. Mina, on the other hand, is Noy’s best friend. She’s also a model and my gimmick-buddy! Lastly, PockLan is Mina’s friend. We met at one night-out and got connected through Facebook. I asked her if she wants to model for me and she said YES, so there you go!

I met my minimum number of Lao Ladies

I'm not sure what they are laughing about, but it's a pretty good shot!

This happens to be my favorite among the bunch of usable photos

Since they are models already, shooting them was a breeze.

Their walkabout

I have fun when I shoot. The exhilarating feeling I get whenever I wrap-up a day’s work is priceless.

(L-R) Sitthiphone, Mina, Nouna and PockLan

Special thanks to my incredible Mom who’s been helping me with every shoot, holding the reflector for me and all that, everything!! And to Pa Dockeo who’s also been very supportive. GO MOMS!

*Photos were shot using Sigma 10-20mm UWA and a “reflector”…nah, it’s just the silver thing you use for the car 😀

The Reclining Buddha at Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

**Xieng Kuane is open daily at 9AM to 6PM, entrance fee is LAK 5,000 (roughly a dollar) plus LAK 2,000 if you got a camera with you. It has a nice landscape and larger-than-life sculptures, a great view of the Mekong River –perfect for photoshoots. 😀 It’s a 45-minute drive from the center of the city, but you can get there by renting a tuktuk or a taxi-meter.

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Filed under Snappies, Walk and Talk, When In Laos

A Beautiful Sinh

Ahh, the status symbol that is the sinh, and how someone spends a fortune on these doesn’t need further elaborating. Whether at work, weddings, special events –Lao ladies will always strut their best Lao skirts yet. Some are expensive, some are surprisingly affordable, depending on the look and where and how it was made. Designs, colors, and patterns vary for every occasion and setting, but one thing is for sure…everyone is going to look. 😉

I bought two new skirts made in Xamneua, Houaphan. Quite expensive, yes,but they are beautiful.

As of today, I own twenty-three Lao skirts. I am not planning to buy anymore just cos my luggage is throwing up clothes and then I would have to pay for the excess weight and that ain’t good. So while I scheme on how I can bring my Lao skirts home intact, just admire how intricate and how lovely these skirts are made. Take note, they are uniquely designed, so the skirt that you’re going to invest on is most prolly the only design there is available. Lucky you, huh?

My favorites yet 😀

So once you see it, buy it. I saw this gorgeous deep purple skirt with gold-ish pattern and I decided I would buy it once I get the chance cos I didn’t bring money then–it was already gone when I came back. That happened twice.

A closer look at my magenta skirt. Pretty fab!

These skirts are believed to look good on ladies with narrow waists and proportional hip sizes. Most girls here are only half of my size, uhh okay, almost half, so at first I got a little insecure. But I did get compliments when wearing these, they told me I looked nice and that I looked Lao (yes, that is a compliment!!) so I became more and more confident. However, a year here can leave everyone bored…I’m afraid I’m looking even more generic that’s why I’m going to have to mix it up a little.

A closer look at the pattern of my black Xamneua sinh

Take note that you don’t buy it as a skirt already; you get the fabric plus the pattern then you go to your favorite seamstress to have it made into a Lao skirt, a regular skirt (A-line or pencil) or a dress, have it shortened or retain its length…any look you want, actually.

One of my best.

But I suggest, get one and have it made in Laos, keep it as authentic as possible and I’m telling you, people will notice. 🙂

I love this skirt, it's got a huge pattern and it's nicely done.

I will upload the whole “collection” soon. If you want a Lao skirt, you can also leave a comment below!

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Filed under Beauty and Style, Walk and Talk, When In Laos

Moment of Diplomacy

Never in my 21 years have I ever set foot on, not even the gate of, the Malacanang Palace.

One afternoon, in the middle of designing and chasing my dreams, I was whisked away from my office to take a fabulous photo of the Presidential Palace in Vientiane. All I can say is, It’s Gorgeous!

Cole at the Palace. uhh yeah, cos I'm important like that. I'm kidding!

Posting just this one just cos they are all top secret files. No, actually, cos I don’t want to get reprimanded. LOL

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Filed under Walk and Talk, When In Laos