Angkor and Siem Reap chronicles
A few useful and/or funny things to know about our city, the temples and their people...
Alessandro Vannucci and Regis Binard created Angkor Photography Travel ( http://www.angkortravelphotography.com/ ), a photography tour based in Siem Reap, in 2012. Their purpose is to offer visitors an opportunity to visit the Angkor temples and their region with professional photographers and learn from them. Let's ask them a few questions about themselves, their work and their vision of photo tourism in Angkor.
Bugs Cafe : Hi guys, thank you for answering our questions. First, could you tell us a bit more about who you are, your experience in photography and what brought you to Siem Reap ?
Angkor Photography Travel :
Ale: I have a background in photography and video/editing. When in 2008 I moved to South East Asia I have found a paradise on earth for photography. I instantly fell in love with the easy-going way of life and with the smile of Cambodian people.
Regis: I have been a photographer for almost 15 years in Europe and now 5 years in South East Asia. I have known the work of Alessandro in Cambodia and abroad for long time and luckily a few years taer, I got the chance to meet him. I always loved the way he worked and he works. So, for me it was obvious we had to do something together.
BC : What do your tours consist in ? Where do you bring people ? How long does it last ?
ATP : Cambodia is truly beautiful country and a photographers dream: the Khmer people are very friendly and approachable and often enjoy engaging with foreigners. Mix this in with the breathtaking temples of Angkor in the Siem Reap province as well as the floating villages of the Tonle Sap lake and one begins to get an idea why this is a must-visit destination for photographers.
BC : Do many people feel the need to get help from professionals to make nice pictures of the Angkor temples ? With a decent smartphone and a few apps, anybody can make wonderful pictures !
ATP : Our role is not only in giving advice about using the camera and composition rules, but also offering our clients the best possible photographic experience. Tourism in Cambodia is growing every year, as a result it is increasingly difficult to visit Angkor without constantly running into hordes of tourists. Thanks to our experience is still possible to avoid most of the crowd, something that any photographers would want.
BC : Can anybody profit from your tours or does one have to be a skilled photographer already ? What equipment should your customers bring with them ?
ATP : The workshops cover a wide range of subjects – exploring the towns & markets, attending local festivals and ceremonies or getting lost amongst the ancient temples: all the time having an experienced instructor there to assist, provide tips and answer questions for beginners but also for experimented photographers. Any camera is very welcome. I am sure you are going to ask us if an IPhone is a camera...
BC : Billions of photos of the temples are shot every year, from every angle, with any kind of light and so on. Is it still possible to do personal and original photos of Angkor ?
ATP : yes sure, it is possible. The light is everyday different and we always show hidden places than almost nobody see so the picture are quite unique (not always). For example, THE sunrise above Angkor Wat is never the same... sometimes beautiful and sometimes... (laughing). Let s say it is always impressive regardless the color of the sky.
Beside that we always encourage the creativity of our guests and we have so many good surprises. How many times they show us thing we have never seen before. Moreover our itinerary are flexible and we arrange them depending on what our guests like the most.
BC : I've heard Angkor Temples area is strictly regulated, and it also concerns photography shooting. What are the rules ? Do they cause any difficulty in your work ?
ATP : The rules changed on the 1st January 2016 but it concerns only the shooting for commercial purpose. Actually, as long as they don t bring strobes and heavy equipment, there s no problem. They are just here to enjoy the temples and Cambodia.
Anyway, our team is always well updated, in order to inform our clients at the best.
BC : The temples are by far the number one attraction around Siem Reap, but there are many other interesting things to see there. Do you take your customers in other places ? If so, which ones ? Is it successful ?
ATP : Cambodia is an amazing Country, which offers many opportunities for photographers. If you also think about the markets, the countryside, the floating villages, the waterfalls and the smiles of the Cambodian. .. For longer trips, we sometimes go to less touristy places and remote area.
BC : Final question : do you provide selfie stick training ?
ATP : Not really, (laughing)... selfies are not for us, sorry. However, sometimes, we have guests with smartphones and Ale loves new technology and he is happy to help and teach iPhonography.