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Street artists dressed as a clown and Charlie Chaplin, photographed in Calcutta, India.

PUTTING PERSPECTIVE The art of photographing the beautiful, the crude, and the strange BY MARA MIANO

Hannah Reyes, 24, Travel photographer

In her series The Steppe, Hannah captures intimate photos of inhabitants of the grasslands, including one of a man keeping warm under blankets, and a child snuggling between Mongolian rugs.

Grew up in: Manila, Philippines. Currently: A National Geographic Young Explorer. Age: 24. On applying for Nat Geo: “It was a lot of hard work that took time: I researched, wrote, brainstormed, and edited, then edited some more. I asked people I trusted to look at my application and abstract, and took constructive criticism. It took months to finish. I made sure that I chose a subject I really cared about so that should I not get the grant, I’d still have information for a project that I really wanted to pursue.” On moving to Phnom Penh: “I used to be fixated with the idea that I could grow where I’m planted, but today, I take more pride in telling everyone that my roots are in our islands. (Despite) all the challenges, I’m glad I moved—there’s so much I’m learning here, and it’s been a great ride.” Interesting people she’s met: “The legendary tattoo artist Fang Od, a transgendered Aeta named Alvina (formerly Alvin) who is one of the first Aetas to come out, some corrupt tribal leaders, and a child who swore that she saw a young girl enter my body and then leave.” On documentary: “I’ve seen some things, and this makes me realize how little I know and how much more I want to explore. On some days, it’s exhausting; on some days, work is thrilling; on some days, it’s frustrating. And every day, I feel like I’m just beginning, that there’s so much I still want to learn. I cannot explain how moving it is to have work that takes me outside of myself and to things much bigger than what I know, and lets me ask questions I otherwise would not even think of asking.” Advice for aspiring travel photographers: “Keep asking questions. Be gentle.”

Hannah has been published in Lonely Planet, The New York Times, Time, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, and has been exhibited in Manila, Aalborg, and Copenhagen.

While working on her project Indigenous Transitions, Hannah formed a great bond with Bianca Natola, who handled the video assets for the expedition. “I loved every minute with her, and I’m proud of myself for recognizing that she would be a great partner for s r ec

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Scout: 2014 September  

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