Lizel Strömberg

Staring looks at the night market
Whenever I'm in the Philippines, I always get a lot of eyes looking on me. I'm the person who stands out in the crowd because I'm foreigner and even more so because I'm a girl. One of the last nights in Bicol, I wanted to check out the night market in the center of Tabaco and get some shots of the locals. My cousins Tim and Obot joined me in my walk to be my body guards as a safety net because I would become an easy target for pickpockets when taking photographs. They were also there to keep me company .
We came to the market a bit late and the sun had already set which would make photographing a bit more tricky. If I wasn't already getting noticed by only being there, once I took the camera out even more people would give me looks. I'm not all comfortable when I get that much attention but I had to try to play it off and make it as if I didn't minded.
I'm aware that people mostly know me as a concert photographer and I love creating that kind of content. But what you probably don't know is that I have passion for documentary photography as well. I don't get to do documentary photography often but that's definitely something I want to start doing more. 
I really like walking around at the night market, observing people and just feel the different vibe than I'm used to back in Sweden. 
Photographing at the night market was a bit tricky because there were so much movement everywhere. There were traffic from every directions by cars, tricycles, jeepneys, people and bicyles. I had to be alert and be aware of my surroudings not to only capture what I wanted but to make sure I didn't get run over by someone else. Luckily, my cousins were there to make sure I was safe. They would almost be up on my back to make sure no one would sneak up on me. Some times they would be too close to me that I would accidentally step on their foot or bump into them, haha. But I only appreciated that they took their task to be "security guards" full on serious to make me feel safe. 
These pictures don't get close to showing a fair image of the market, there were a lot of other food stands and people selling everything from fruits and vegatables from their farm but also some handmade crafts.
The main things that I had in mind when taking these photos was to find places where there was enough light for me to being able to capture photos but also create a vibe of how it would be like on set. 
When walking around the market, I got a lot of smiles which I assume was for different reasons depending on who the person was. For example, there were many guys who would kind of check me out and trying to be cheeky so I would take photos of them. Something I've realized, photographing women/girls in The Philippines are more tricky as they get very shy and hide as soon as they see a camera. Because of that fact, I really love the photo above that I captured of a women sitting by all the fruits. She's so cute! Right after I took this photo, she quickly got a bit shy but would still kind of smile towards me. 
If I would have been more brave, I would have asked this guy to take a photo of him when he's posing for the camera. I would have loved to captured him in a closer range and have more smoke into the picture. It would have been such a cool photo! But I hope I will be able to create that kind of photo another time.
But that was it for this post. I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading about my thoughts about my experiences at the night market. Did you get a particular vibe or feeling when seeing these pictures? Let me know in the comment section!
Until next time, ingat!