An unidentified male voice with an unrecognized accent calls asking for directions to La Paz. He mentions sandboarding. I thought he was a tourist wanting to experience a sand adventure, so I told him it’s prearranged and the jeep can pick him up at his hotel or he can go to our headquarters in downtown Laoag, and so I texted him the address and in less than 5 minutes, he was there, but I couldn’t meet him because I came straight from sleep and wouldn’t want to face anyone with bedhead hair. The hubby assisted him and sent Rommel, the sandboarding assistant and offroad driver, to take him to the dunes.
A routine, Ilocos Sand Boarding posts his photos on their Facebook page in the album “sandboarders.” I checked his business card, which he left for us, and googled Panos Pictures, his agency. It turns out this “sandboarder” is no less than photojournalist Chris Stowers, who has worked in 55 countries and whose photographs have graced the pages or covers of Time, Newsweek, Asiaweek, Businessweek, The Telegraph, The New York Times and The Independent. He has also shot for National Geographic, Discovery, etc. and photographed for photo books like Hair India (A guide to the bizarre beards and magnificent moustaches of Hindustan), Eyewitness Travel Guides, Travel Photography: How to Take Striking Photography (Insight Guides), and so much more. Check out his awesome photos here.
How could I have passed up the opportunity of meeting the man in person? Rommel says Chris shot him sandboarding and dune bashing:) I later learned from the two that he was on an assignment from his London agency to take photos for a travel guide. I can’t wait to get my hands on that book if ever the dunes of La Paz will be in it.
Rommel and the hubby say he’s such a nice fellow. Thank you, Chris Stowers!
Panos Pictures is a London-based independent photo agency representing photojournalists worldwide. Their photographers document issues and geographical areas which are under-reported, misrepresented or ignored. In a media climate dominated by celebrity and lifestyle, Panos aims to provide fresh perspectives on the world. (Source: Panos Pictures on Vimeo)