This is a follow-up to a portrait-based post I made back in April of last year. The things I wrote back then stand true today and there's no need to repeat them - seek them out if you will.

Some people are comfortable in front of a camera, some are not. I am not. When a lens is pointed at me I begin to quiver and gurn. It's unfortunate really but there doesn't seem to be much I can do about it. Some of my subjects quiver, thankfully none of them gurn. But my job as a photographer is to make those who don't particularly enjoy being photographed comfortable enough so that their personality, their character can shine through in the end result. I like to think I succeed most, if not all (or perhaps all) of the time. However, this post is not about any sublime human-soothing skills I may or may not have. It's not about the people who need to be calmed before they are shot. It's about the others.

Every now and again I photograph someone who makes my job ridiculously easy. Someone who is totally unfazed by the machine I'm brandishing, or who has simply made up their mind to enjoy the experience whatever it involves and however long it might take. And recently I've had the good fortune to meet several such people. To them I say - 'thank-you'. Here are three of them:

Hoang Hoi is the Head Monk at the Ky Quang Pagoda which runs counselling programmes, supported by UNICEF, for children infected by or with parents infected by HIV. Also housed in the pagoda are a natural health clinic, a shelter for physically and mentally disabled people, an acupuncture clinic, and facilities for blind people to be trained in and practice traditional massage.

Truong Hong Tam - otherwise known as Madame Sida - has been at the forefront of AIDS/HIV awareness and prevention in the south of Vietnam. She also fosters children who are infected with the virus.

Nemat Hajeebhoy is the Country Director of Alive & Thrive - an American NGO - and is in charge of their infant and child nutrition project.


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