One door closes – the end of my time with Oi Vietnam

OK, this is certainly not new news, but news I can’t neglect to share here any longer…

I am no longer working as staff photographer for Oi Vietnam. While there are stories floating around that I am returning to Australia very soon, I will not be leaving Vietnam until the end of the year or early 2015, and am using my remaining time to work on some projects here in Vietnam including the 150 page book of panoramic photographs of Saigon that will be published very soon. I may still contribute the odd article here or there on a freelance basis for Oi, but am now focusing more on my personal projects as well as any other freelance work that arises while I’m still here, along with photographic workshops and small photographic tours of Saigon.

Looking back on my time with Oi, I have many great memories, and I can see that the opportunities and challenges the work provided me encouraged me to try new approaches and I saw some growth in my own photography. Some of my favourite images from the last year or so are ones I produced for the magazine.

So here I will present something of a highlights reel from my time with Oi.

Firstly, I was lucky enough to be responsible for four of the cover photos: December 2013 and March, July and August 2014.

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Oi-March-2014_Cover-724x1024

cover final

Oi August Cover

I covered many interesting topics and events, including…

Restorer 1
…the somewhat secretive Vietnamese government department responsible for restoring and preserving historic texts and documents;

Day event 65
the Color Me Run event which included performances by…

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…Vietnamese rapper Suboi,

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Australian entertainer Timomatic,

Kelly Rowland at Color Me Run
and Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child fame.

I also did photos for articles on some creative Vietnamese artisans, including

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A young graffiti crew,

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and some very talented sand artists.

Obviously working for a lifestyle magazine, I also shot a lot of food!

Food - prawns with salad and spring roll entree

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Banh Thap Cam 4

Non-reviewed dish 1

Deep Fried Vegetables 3

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But my favourite photos were actually from assignments that took me outside of my comfort zone. Before working with Oi, my work was predominantly social documentary, street photography and photojournalism. Ultimately all capturing what was before me, rather than staged, posed, or planned images. So it was a new thing for me to take more control, and to instill even more creativity into the images. And I loved it!

There was the article on acrobats from AO Show who were also into Parkour,

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29 crop

and of course the series on the local ballet troupe…

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Hardcore
…among which was this image that went viral globally (sans watermark – dammit)!

And a couple of other fun shots for random articles.

Magazine editor - the ultimate multitasker!

Art museum ghost

One of the best things about working for the magazine was actually the time riding around town in between assignments. I came to know the city far better than I would have in pretty much any other line of work (apart from working as a courier or taxi driver), and saw aspects of the city I would not have otherwise been aware of. So in a way, my book that will be out soon (watch this space) may not have been possible without having taken this opportunity with Oi. Just as any job has its ups and downs, not everything was smooth sailing, but in the end, it made my time here in HCMC far more memorable and I definitely have no regrets.

I’m excited to see what doors open now that this one has closed…

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