During the first week of being in Cambodia, I was trying to think up ideas of things to photograph - I wanted to go beyond the normal photographs - you know, like people on the street, people in the markets. I wanted to make this project more personal, more one-on-one.
Back home I have done a few small business photoshoots & I tend to really enjoy getting to photograph small business’s, they always have a lot of passion and drive. So I thought, why not bring that over to this side of the world. (not saying that anyone hasn’t done it before, but I just wanted to make that connection). I have around 6 or 7 shoots that I would like to do while I am here.
The first one that I did was an older man who makes coffee in one of the restaurants that we eat at for breakfast a lot. There’s a little window that if you sit at the right table you can watch him make the coffee and tea drinks people order in the restaurant. He is very methodical in all of his movements and drink making. Everything in his station has a place and a purpose.
His name is Meng Hang. He has been a “barista” (I don’t know if I can use that term, but I’m going to) for 41 years. He started at the young age of 19 and is now 60. I would say, in 41 years he has perfected the odd number of drinks this restaurant serves.
I didn’t get to talk with him a lot because he was busy. But now when I go in the restaurant I know who makes all of the drinks and how much love and passion he puts into it. I think that makes the experience just a little more personal.
I can’t wait to get these photos printed and give them to him. So, I now introduce to you, Meng Hang - the worlds longest “Barista”. (hahaha)