Big smile from a Kiva borrower

Cambodians have some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. During my visits to Kiva borrowers in August and September of 2010, I was given a glimpse of life in rural Cambodia. Below I present some of the challenges of taking photos in the field and also some of my favorite photographs from the borrower visits.

Challenge #1: Extremely bright background

Most of the visits I made to borrowers were between 10am and 3pm, when the sun was overhead and shining at its strongest. This often made it difficult to take outdoor shots.

Challenge #2 - Tricky backlighting

I met with some borrowers on the ground level of their home. The open area had bright sunshine peeking through from all directions. Note the big smiles!

Challenge #3 - clouds rolling in late in the day...

There were times when we had to wait for Kiva borrowers to return home so we could meet with them. It was dark when I took this shot so I had to use the flash, which caused some overexposure of the objects in the foreground. I think it’s neat how there’s a cow walking on the road in the background.

Favorite #1: A couple of big smiles!

After a while I realized that the best lighting could be found inside the borrowers’ homes, with sunlight peeking in from one opening.

Favorite #2: Another beautiful Khmer smile!

The pink cloth draped in the background provided a nice contrast. The strong sunlight peeking in from the one opening in the house was just right.

Favorite #3: A face that's full of character

When I visited this Sin San, there was something about him that was really interesting to photograph. The blue cloth in the background adds an interesting touch.

Favorite #3.1: Family portrait

Edwin Au-Yeung served as a roaming Kiva Fellow in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from August to November 2010. He is currently serving as a Kiva Fellow at Tanaoba Lais Manekat in Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia. Edwin is a casual photographer with no photography training at all, and although he doesn’t like to brag about it, he once won a monthly photography contest at his previous place of employment. Want to support the provision of microfinance services around the world? Make a loan on Kiva today!


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