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This is a behind-the-scene shot of a photography project that I’ve been working on recently and which I hope to reveal in a couple of months. I was very worried for the model because she was wearing red but the cows didn’t seem to mind at all.

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This is my friend Trang on a dirt road near my house. I often come here to watch the sunset and see cows gazing and ducks swimming. I enjoy doing that on my own, but it was a lot more fun with company. Hope you’re having a good Monday!

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This is a photo of a friend of mine playing the Vietnamese zither (đàn tranh) in an old coffee house in Hội An. She’s wearing a Northern style yếm, a top for young women in the old days, with a twist. I like this picture because it looks very Vietnamese! You can also see in the background a painting of Hội An town in flood season when it rains so hard the streets become little canals and people have to get around by boat. Some people call it “Asian Venice” which I think doesn’t do Hội An or Venice any justice, but it’s okay! You get the idea.

PORTRAIT | QUỲNH IN HỘI AN

Quỳnh is an artist friend of mine in Hội An. I met her one morning last fall. When walking into my usual coffee place, I saw a woman hand-sewing blue leather straps into a beautiful reed bag. Turned out that she had painted that bag herself. Both of us loved her work and my husband asked if she would make a similar bag for his mom. Touched by a man looking for a pretty gift for his mother, she agreed to help, saying it was the first bag she made to order.

The second time we met, she was wearing Vietnamese modern áo dài that she designed and riding a little vintage Honda Cub in cream color. She looked like a Vietnamese woman back in the 1960s.

We met again a few days ago to work on several projects. I visited Quynh’s home and studio, where she lives with her boyfriend and a cat named Picasso. Her boyfriend is a painter too. Their studio is full of paintings, wood, textile and reed bags. Quynh has developed a bag line using local environment-friendly material (reeds). She embroiders or paints on the bags, and she even paints owners’ portraits on the bags as well. (I guess that would lower the rate of bag stealing.)

I went to her studio yesterday to photograph her bags in preparation for a workshop on bag-making and embroidery that she was teaching at a local crafts house. It was inspiring to see her and her boyfriend creating beautiful things in a little studio full of sunshine. I just had to capture that and share it here!

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Portrait | Quỳnh – Anh

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I’ve always loved taking portrait photos of people. It mesmerizes me how somebody can look so different from different angles. Rarely have I posted portrait photos on this blog though, but after a conversation with a new friend yesterday I decided to post portrait photos that I like here. I figured that as long as it’s something that I like, somebody somewhere might like it too.
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