Kids of Myanmar

As soon as I’ve taken a picture the little group of kids gather around me. I squat down, set my camera in preview mode, and they all come closer, leaning in to get a peek. I feel a little hand on my shoulder, then another. These kids are definitely not shy. They giggle and smile when they look at themselves and their friends on the camera screen, and then they start posing for more.

Before I came to Myanmar I didn’t take many travel portraits on my trip. Probably due to people being shy, especially in Laos, and me getting less and less bold the more rejections I got, not that I was very bold to begin with. I probably took more portraits during my five days in the souks of Marrakech during a trip with my photography class to Morocco a couple of years ago, than during my first few months in South-East Asia. Considering the amount of people that definitely did not want their picture taken there (once a guy yelled after me when he happened to open his door and walk straight into my picture when i was actually just trying to photograph a sidestreet), that’s a pretty bad figure.

When I came to Myanmar, and specially when I met that little group of kids while trekking between Kalaw and Inle lake, something happened. It was like a door opened. I started taking pictures of people again, I started to take more candids. Most people didn’t mind, most people were really open towards strangers, foreigners, curious about the outer world. The more pictures I got, the bolder I got. I wish it would have happened sooner, because there are so many pictures I regret not taking. But in Myanmar I took them, most of them. I got so many close portraits, mainly of kids, and here are some of them, the beautiful kids of Myanmar. Most are taken either between Kalaw and Inle or between Namhsan and Hsipaw.

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