Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kars (the talented one)

I believe that photographers should write more. Not a few words to describe their work, but really to tell a story.

I also believe that writers should photograph.

If you can do both, for me you are an artist.

Meet KARS. The traveler.

This is her getting tattooed by 89 year old Whang Od, the last of the Kalinga tattoo artist in the Philippines

Yes, she travels. But as you can see she's a great photographer. 

Kars started traveling at age 19 (in 2000) hiking mountains around the Philippines and Southeast Asia. After a friend took her to Borneo for a month for backpacking she then got hooked into that culture. Like the vast majority of us, she too had to do something for a living. She was a copywriter for ABS-CBN shows in Manila, Philippines before deciding to work as a Photographer on cruise ships in 2008. A few years later she quit ships, and pursued writing in land and continued traveling with her own funds.

A few days before her trip to Mongolia early this year, she posted a photo of her backpacking gears on Facebook. Cool, huh?!
One of her great captures in that trip to Mongolia.
A backpacking hostel where she stayed with friends during one of her European adventures.

If you could see all her albums, you would think what else is left for her to see, but she tells me that her next stop is Central Asia, or maybe Katmandu and Burma at the end of the year. 

This is her on the cover of View Magazine.  With the article Pinay Travel Chronicles Europe 101 that she also wrote.

Yes, she travels. Yes, she takes beautiful photos. But as you can see, she also has a talent in writing. 

And because we share the same belief that traveling is the most invaluable experience you can give yourself, that I decided to write about her. Here, she will tell us a few more things that hopefully will inspire you to see the world. And that wisdom I see in her you will be able to read between her lines.

Are you a better writer and/or photographer because of your travels?
"Yes, and I'm still learning every single day. With writing, I think it's one of the few professions where you better as you age because you read more, you learn more and your understanding of things becomes more profound. As for photography, I'm really not that strong technically but as a writer I'm also looking out for a good story and that's how I want my images to have- a story. I love people and analyzing how things move- the microcosms of society, and if you watch carefully and patiently wait, you can capture that in a single image. I can stay put in a place and I just watch different stories unfold. I want to study photography, and learn the whole discipline formally. That's really my goal to enroll in an art school, photo school abroad."

If there is one place that you can write about, what would that be?
"The Philippines is amazing. Cordillera is the Disney Land of culture. The Philippines fascinates me!"

How do you fund your wanderlust?
 "If you choose traveling as priority, you have to save money to travel. I don't buy designer bags or shop for clothes a lot, I just choose good pieces and use that a lot. I'm also lucky that my writing gives me enough money to travel. I'm also paying for my condo right now which I plan to rent out when it's turned over so I can get additional income that I can use for future travels. Basically, invest in things that make you happy and make money. I also work like a dog when I'm not traveling. So work hard, party harder."

Any advice to newbie travelers?
"Just go for it! Freedom is sought only when chains are conceived."

Lastly, I asked her how many countries has she seen so far but she told me that she does not count and that what excites her is to see the whole of Asia. I actually admire her sense of self since it is quite intact because there is no need for her to separate her writing career from doing what she loves best- traveling. When she travels at the end of the year, she would perhaps take off with a backpack and a camera for a company, and for me she is a brave lady.

To see more of her works, you can visit karen capino
or if you want to view her current photo project, go visit The Indigenous Hipster

Wishing you safe travels wherever you go, Kars!
And wishing everybody who's reading this freedom to travel.



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