Basilio H. Sepe was the Philippines recipient of the Angkor Photo Travel Grants. Souled Out was made during the 2016 Angkor Photo Workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The vast expanse of stalls, bazaars and the endless waves of buyers, vendors, tourists and locals, make up the bright atmosphere of the Old Market, located in the heart of Siem Reap in Cambodia. As I spend more time there, something else is revealed. Within the lively atmosphere of the market moments of stillness exist, they express the slowness of time, suggesting the mundane reality and fatigue that accompanies the hard work of these characters in this colourful market.
Interview with Basilio H. Sepe
1. HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE WORKSHOP?
I did as much as I could to prepare for the workshop. I sold some pictures in print to earn money, given I do not have that much savings. I knew deep inside that it was not just “a workshop,” as this is a professional way of connecting with more people. I prepared a couple of things such as personal calling cards, a portfolio of my previous works, and consulted former Filipino participants to provide me a little background on how the workshop will be. Armed with tales of their opinions and experiences, I also researched about the place (Siem Reap) that I was going to and on possible topics I could work on.
2. WHAT IS YOUR PHOTO SERIES ABOUT ?
My photo series tackles the environment inside Siem Reap’s Old Market. I focused on people working inside the market, and how sometimes life in the market can get boring for them, and how time slows down in these cases.
3. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SHOOT IT ?
I really had a hard time choosing a topic to work on. I had a lot of ideas in mind. I even have a list of possible topics but it was difficult for me given my time was limited, and I only had very few working days. I decided to shoot my piece after realizing it was a new approach. Much as the place could be considered a very famous spot – thus, a bit cliché – I believed I could still tell a new story to entertain and inspire my viewers.
4. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU ENCOUNTER WHILE WORKING ON A PHOTO SERIES AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM ?
The real challenge is choosing the right topic. It was only in the middle of the workshop when I began to appreciate the story I was working on. I asked help from my mentors and when they told me I was overthinking, I finally focused on what I wanted to pursue.
5. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE WORKSHOP ?
The workshop was overall a great learning experience. The most important thing I have learned from it was you have to be patient. You have to be patient with what you are doing. In order to be successful, it is not just your skill that you have to improve. It should be a combination of faith, patience and talent. From that way, you will grow not just as a photographer/photojournalist but also as a person.
6. HOW DO YOU PLAN TO IMPLEMENT WHAT YOU LEARNED FROM THE WORKSHOP ?
What I learned from the workshop could open a lot of doors for me in the future. It’s not just a photography workshop, but also contains lessons on other subjects. This includes how I could market myself, even on building connections. I can apply everything I’ve learned from the workshop in everyday life, even after I graduate. Being a professional is really the focus of the workshop, and it helped me a lot.
7. WHAT ARE SOME MEMORABLE MOMENTS THAT YOU EXPERIENCED DURING THE WORKSHOP ?
The whole workshop was memorable right from the beginning, down to its last moment. It was a series of different events, challenges and fun moments. The people I’ve met will always be in my heart, and the things I’ve learned and shared with them will always be with me.
Photographs & Text: Basilio H. Sepe Website: http://basiliosepe.tumblr.com