Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Neighbourhood #3

This is the third and – for now at least – final part of my Neighbourhood series. Over the last couple of months, I’ve spent a lot of time – though less than I would like – wandering the streets near where I live in Saigon, hoping to capture something of the character of the people and places I see every day.

12 Responses to “Neighbourhood #3”

  1. Trevor

    The first few portrait are especially strong, the other shots not as much so IMO.

  2. miladmaymay

    I love taking pics of the people in the countries I visit but a lot of times I don’t know how to ask them to be photographed. How do you do it?

    • Jon Sanwell

      Sorry for the delay in answering your question, Milad. I don’t speak much Vietnamese, so I normally ask just by holding up the camera and smiling. I like to get up close and interact with people when I take their picture. People who are reluctant at first will often start to relax once they’ve seen a couple of pictures of themselves on the camera screen.

  3. elsethenomad

    Beautiful photos. Such clarity! When you take these photos of the people, do you just go up to them and ask if you can take their portrait? Are they normally receptive and not ‘weirded out’ by that? I’m going on a 7 month backpacking trip and would love to take photos of people (close up) but don’t know how to best go about that, as I’ve never tried it before! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jon Sanwell

      Thank you, Else, and sorry for the delay in replying. My general approach for photographing people is to smile and hope for the best. I only speak very little Vietnamese, I’m ashamed to say, so I tend to rely on a few words and friendly body language. Not everyone says yes – I get plenty of refusals, but I’ve never encountered any aggression. I find that the better my own mood, the more positive responses I get. I hope that helps. Have a great trip and good luck with the people pictures.

      • elsethenomad

        That’s alright! Thanks for taking the time to reply 🙂 Thank you!

  4. vezinak

    Your photos make me so excited for Vietnam. Fall of 2012 cannot come soon enough! Gorgeous photos. 🙂


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