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Words of Advice: Tutors of the Workshops

Angkor photo festival has become THE place for Southeast Asian photographers to meet up annually, and a real camaraderie among regional photographers has been built. The workshops at the festival have become the ones nurturing the next generation of Asian and Asia-based photographers… As the photographers in the region emerge, the festival has become more and more important as a place where the vision and perspectives of the local, indigenous photographers are shaped and heard.” – Sim Chiyin

Our seven workshop tutors for 2018 are award-winning professionals who represent a range of nationalities, backgrounds, and photographic styles. More importantly – they all share our core values and belief in the need to provide professional guidance and mentorship to Asia’s emerging photographers. Since we began, all our workshop tutors join us as volunteers – helping the workshops to remain non-commercial and free for all participants.

With less than two weeks to go before we close the Angkor Photo workshop’s 2018 Call For Applications – we asked a few of our amazing tutors to share a few brief words of wisdom for those who are planning to send in their portfolio!

Application is free and open to all Asian photographers with no age limit.
Apply before the deadline of June 30th! 
 

Link: 2018 WORKSHOP APPLICATION

“What do you look for in an application?”

Thoughtfulness. Its not about quantity but the quality of thought that goes into the work and the application, this should ultimately be reflected in the edit, the images and the words“. 
– Ian Teh

Something honest from the heart. It is not only about technique or colour or retouching skills.
– Kosuke Okahara

It is important to see that someone is driven and committed, and willing to work very hard. Other than that, a sense of visual consistency, and honesty.
Katrin Koenning

“I’m open to seeing all kinds of applications, it doesn’t matter what kind of a photographer a person considers himself or herself to be. What matters to me most is that the applicant has something at stake in what he or she is trying to do with the work. I’d rather see work with images that are not particularly strong, but where the photographer still manages to challenge my perception and expectations of photography by taking risks (not a risk where one is harming oneself to make work) than a set of beautifully made photographs that are just about the aesthetics and with nothing more to say.”
– Sohrab Hura

“What is your key advice on preparing a portfolio for the application?”

“Think of the portfolio as a whole — curate it. Leave the fluff out. Be decisive in what you believe is your best work.”
– Ian Teh

“Please send us the work or project that you really care about. And take care to have a tight edit of your images!”
– Kosuke Okahara

Go with showing the work that feels true to you and that you burn for. Keep it tight and propose a clear edit (sometimes this means throwing out your favourite pictures); it is better to make a smaller selection of strong images. The same goes for the artist statement accompanying the work – don’t stress over it too much, it doesn’t have to be a work of poetic grandeur – be honest, keep it short, and write with a few clear sentences what the work is about. One powerful sentence can be much stronger than a long piece of writing that is vague.”
– Katrin Koenning

“Good imagery does help, but is not an end in itself and it is for sure not the most important element of the work for me. The selection or non selection of photographers is in no way, a judgement on whether a photographer is good or bad. In fact it is more a reflection of our own limitations as tutors as we try to create a group that we feel that we can give back to in the most fulfilling way as possible.

So to begin with, I think that anyone thinking of applying should not worry about whether he or she is good enough or not, all that is meaningless. Instead, they should take the chance to put forward what they feel is most important to them, without trying to second guess their work into what they might think is the agenda of the workshop or tutors. It could be anything: the political positions you take, your personal vulnerabilities, the way with which you relate to the world.. the possibilities are limitless.”
– Sohrab Hura

“Why should someone apply for the workshops?”

“To be challenged. To connect. To grow. This requires absolute commitment from both the student. A person who has been practicing photography for sometime and is struggling to evolve and grow creatively would greatly benefit from the feedback and challenges of this week long workshop.
– Ian Teh

“I believe the workshops encourage, inspire and build on participant’s strengths. They bring people together and enable you to create deep friendships with peers and colleagues. They also challenge of course – this is a good thing because the best learning often comes from challenges.The workshops can be a powerful experience for when one feels a little lost in their practice too, and is in need of guidance and supported thinking around a question or issue or idea or next step.Because here, people come together (teachers and students alike) in honesty and with a deep heart, I think that something is built during the week that might hopefully last for a long time to come.”
– Katrin Koenning 

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