Cao Ngoc Ha: What We Love Can Hurt Us The Most

The Storytelling Through Portraits Workshop took place from 20 to 22 November as part of the World Press Photo Exhibition: Best of Three 2018 – 2020 in Hanoi. It is organized by Matca and supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam. 

During three intensive days, 13 participants discussed different aspects of making portraits, worked on their proposed projects, and edited their photos under the mentorship of veteran photographers Binh Dang and Linh Pham. Within the time constraint, the workshop focused on the process instead of the outcome, encouraging participants to experiment and get out of their comfort zone rather than making a fully complete body of work. However, each and everyone put in considerable effort to realize a mini-series that expressed their own idea and perspective.

Cao Ngoc Ha: What We Love Can Hurt Us The Most

If we focus all our love and hope on something as if it was a part of our body, its loss will puncture a hole in our heart that will grow bigger. Especially when it is us who have to make that decision.

The series stems from memories of the days when I kept my friend company before she made a painful decision. Having listened to her story, I attempt to express her feelings and mine when I try to put myself into her shoes. I chose to shoot a female model, trees, sky, river or wind, whatever images that reminded me of those disturbing feelings.

© Cao Ngọc Hà
© Cao Ngọc Hà
© Cao Ngọc Hà
© Cao Ngọc Hà
© Cao Ngọc Hà
© Cao Ngọc Hà