Khmer Portraits is a long-term photographic series exploring the social landscape of Cambodia through contextual portraiture. The aim of the project is to visually present the diversity of people of this rapidly evolving country and to provide a better understanding of a nation often shaped by its past and driven by its future.
Michael Carroll is an award-winning documentary photographer based in Cambodia. His work has been published internationally for clients such as The Guardian, Financial Times Magazine, Courrier International, British Journal of Photography and Leica Japan among others. A selection of his images are held in the archives of the Bophana Centre in Phnom Penh.
In order to truly encapsulate the country, I photograph an array of people from all walks of life, to portray a society as diverse as the people whom make it the fascinating, complex and wondrous place that it is. From politicians, to musicians to farmers and teachers, I aim to provide an insight and visual record, as well as to inform, through peoples stories, some of the issues that define contemporary Cambodia.
In my portraits I try to capture the spirit of the Khmer people, resilience against adversity and provide an insight into the culture . I try to tell people’s stories as to provide you with context, an understanding of peoples lives and the environment that shapes them. From my experience, it is personal stories that we as an audience most connect with.
The project is an evolving one. The long-term goal is to produce a book and hold exhibitions of the work in both Cambodia and beyond. I hope to exhibit the work in villages and towns allowing for communities, through photography, to enjoy and learn about their own country.
Pledge a Portrait
As a self-initiated project, I thought about how to fund the project and how to involve and engage supporters as much as possible, and came up with the idea of ‘pledging a portrait’ as a way for people to directly contribute to the evolution of the work. By pledging a portrait you are literally commissioning a new portrait, enabling for someone’s story to be seen and heard.
In return for your support you will receive a selection of mini-prints from the series (postcard size), a personal thank you note and be credited as the supporter where the photograph is published (unless you wish not to be).
Many thanks for your support!