A Stills photographer behind the scenes at
Located at Don Chan Palace in Vientiane, the Miss Laos 2013 contest was down to the final forty girls. The contest provides a chance for girls from all over Laos to participate and become an ambassador for the country. The winner receive’s a new car as well as many other prizes and there are also prizes awarded to 2nd and 3rd place in addition to winners of the Miss Popular Vote, Miss Friendship and Miss Photogenic. Judging on this day was taking place to reduce the group to 20 hopefuls. Over a long day the contestants went through a series of questions, costume changes and showcased some of their special skills such as singing or the many languages they spoke. The room was full of excitement as the girls got taken through there final rehearsal, before having to come face to face with some of Laos most influential people.
There were many nerves, many laughs and even more selfies….
While I was there to provide documentary behind the scenes photos of Miss Laos 2013, it enabled me to be a first hand witness to a beauty pageant in a country that is still so new to these type of contests. Miss Laos is currently unable to compete in the Miss World/Universe pageant although I expect this will change in the years to come.
The eventual winner was the 21 year old Miss Vilaylak Chanthavong. She is set to become a cultural ambassador for the traditions and culture of Laos.
Life and Times in Laos
It has been about six months since I packed up my life in Melbourne and moved over to Vientiane, Laos. After a bit of travelling around Myanmar, I settled in Vientiane with a few contacts, no job, no place to live, and not knowing how much photography or video work I would pick up.
Still editing the documentary about RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands), I was in no rush to go in search of work. However not long after arriving I found myself taking on a position as an art director at the newly formed digital marketing agency (digital monkey). With clients such as Beerlao, Pepsi, Kuanjai magazine, Miss Laos, it was an exciting introduction to Laos.
Over this time I have worked mainly within digital marketing, on facebook campaigns. I have also filmed a few event videos, a quick ad for sting energy drink, as well as some behind the scenes videos.