Having a Khmer photo shoot done has been on my Cambodia to-do list for quite a while now. Cambodian couples usually do this the day before their wedding and the picture then gets displayed at their wedding reception. The happy couple gets a make-over and dresses up in traditional Cambodian clothes, making them look like a Khmer prince and princess. A Khmer photo shoot is increasingly becoming very popular with expats too though and so when some friends from Germany visited us last week on their honeymoon we thought that this would be the perfect wedding present for them (plus this made it harder for my as yet reluctant husband to say no!).

Chris and Matthes had a look through the catalog for inspiration while us girls had our make up done. Layer upon layer of foundation, powder, eyeshadow and blusher were applied to my face and within 15 minutes my face was turned into a fake eye-lashed masterpiece (I like to think). I was a bit worried that the boys would hate the shoot, but every now and then from the background I could hear a cry of “awesome” and “I want that sword”. Men are so easy ๐Ÿ™‚

make up khmer photo shootNext up was my hair and the hairdresser didnโ€™t hold back. She got out the crimpers, backcombed my hair and applied tons of hairspray. I was almost disappointed that I didnโ€™t get a fake hair piece like my friend Backpacker Becki though.

hair khmer photo shoot 1

hair khmer photo shoot

My hair helmet

I then had to choose my traditional Khmer outfit from a rail so sparkly and colourful that I felt like Barbie in her walk-in closet. I almost couldnโ€™t decide which one to choose from. My make-up lady recommended the royal blue outfit as it matched my eyes, so I went with that. Once I had the outfit on she looked at me and I could tell she wasnโ€™t really happy. Then she went into the backroom and came back with some padding for my boobs AND my bum. She put them on me and suddenly looked much happier. Yep, big bums seem to be very popular here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

bum padding khmer photo shootgetting dressed khmer photo shoot

So with all the styling done it was time for the Khmer photo shoot. We had such a blast. I think this is probably THE best Cambodian souvenir I have got so far. I highly recommend a Khmer photo shoot to everyone. After all how could you not want this as your new Facebook profile picture?

khmer photos shoot 1

Definitely no Photoshop used here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

DSC_3385s_longkhmer photo shoot 3
So what do you think of our new look? Would you do a Khmer photo shoot?

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About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

43 Thoughts on “Going native - A traditional Khmer photo shoot

  1. OH.MY.WORD. I absolutely bloody love that you finally got around to doing this and you all look so amazing! Although I bet Chris is in denial, like “Donโ€™t put it up” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I like how we chose similar outfits ๐Ÿ™‚
    Becki | Backpacker Becki recently posted…The Robot Restaurant in Tokyo โ€“ A Very Futuristic Foodie ExperienceMy Profile

  2. Great photos! After just having a baby I dont think the wifey wants anything to make her butt or boobs look bigger…lol. Looks like you guys had a great time and that would definitely be something the wifey and I would enjoy doing.
    Thomas recently posted…The Jet Setter Family StoryMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm said:

      Thanks Thomas! It is really good fun! Well the staff is quite good at Photoshop, so I am sure they could reduce the size of the boobs and bum. They got rid of our wrinkles and moles too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Sooooooo cute!!!!!! What an awesome idea. I love that they padded your bum!!! You look like a little barbie doll. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Bethaney - Flashpacker Family recently posted…Eight Fun Things to Do in Sydney with KidsMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 5, 2021 at 12:15 pm said:

      Thanks Bethaney. My hair looks a bit weird with that hairspray wave, but it could be worse I think. The stylist had no shame pushing the padding down my cleavage and touching my bum. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oh wow! You look gorgeous, and what an amazing way to remember a country. The blue dress definitely suits you very much ๐Ÿ™‚
    Aggy recently posted…Finding Treasures in PortugalMy Profile

  5. Hahaha! This is a next level “Awkward Family Photo!” Wish I had known about this when I was in Cambodia. Too much fun!
    Kiersten recently posted…Amsterdam Travel TipsMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 5, 2021 at 12:18 pm said:

      It was hilarious Kiersten. All that make-up, the wigs and the bling. That photo will definitely go on the mantlepiece when we are back home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Fantastic pictures! Itโ€™s something you make fun of when you see it during your travels, but itโ€™s actually a great thing!
    Emiel recently posted…Immersion Travel in Tuscany: who would have thought about terracotta?My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 5, 2021 at 12:20 pm said:

      I have been walking past these photo studios for two years now and we always postponed it. I am so glad we did it though. It is such a great memory!

  7. Great photography. You definitely know your way with lighting to not use any PS. I might have to try a Khmer eventually in life!
    Leon Bailey recently posted…Trailer Featured On Disney Wedding Event Blog Magical Day WeddingsMy Profile

  8. Wow, you all look so amazing, no joke! I am impressed by these pictures, great souvenir! I agree with Aggy that the blue dress definitely suits you very much ๐Ÿ™‚
    Agness recently posted…5 Free Things To Do in Santa Fe, North AmericaMy Profile

  9. It was so much fun, tammy! We enjoyed cambodia, koh rong, the beach and pp a lot! Thanks for everything! See you soon in germany ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. WOW, Tammy! You are so beautiful! Now I want to do it myself!!! I just need to find a girl that would take a pic with me LOL Can I do a Khmer photo session without a “bride”? By the way, do you have a pic just by yourself? If yes, you should use it as your avatar here ๐Ÿ˜‰ AMAZING!
    memographer recently posted…EuroTrip 2013: Czech Republic and BelarusMy Profile

  11. Tammy, you look absolutely gorgeous. These are such beautiful pictures, we might just get these done when we are in Cambodia next year ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW, why are the men so “angry” in the last picture? Were they supposed to have this expression? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Savi recently posted…Paris: Best Cheap EatsMy Profile

  12. Love these!! Looks like so much fun =)
    Andrea recently posted…The Maine Craft Beer SceneMy Profile

  13. Fabulous! U are Khmer Princess & Prince! Wish I had done this too, Alison xx

  14. Ahh this is amazing - I have actually never seen a Khmer photograph and know a lot of people who have been to Cambodia so Iโ€™m in shock and awe right now! Like a Khmer Barbie doll definitely. First time on your site but I love it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Susanna recently posted…The home of Pashupatinathโ€™s SadhusMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 10, 2021 at 12:38 pm said:

      Thanks for stopping by Susanna. I am glad you like our little blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not a lot of tourists do these kind of photo shoots actually. It tends to be expats who know about these photo shoots from their Khmer colleagues. I recommend it to everyone though. It was hilarious!

  15. Wow, we are absolutely doing this when we get there. Although I think for me theyโ€™ll be able to leave the butt padding alone. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Dalene recently posted…Marriage in a Double KayakMy Profile

  16. I did this in Phnom Penh too! It was SO fun and I treasure the photos. One was definitely my Facebook profile picture for a while ๐Ÿ™‚
    Alex recently posted…The Complete Diving Guide to Gili TrawanganMy Profile

  17. I had no idea this was a thing. How fun! And how funny that they padded your butt.
    Stephanie - The Travel Chica recently posted…Entrepreneurs and Wine in PortlandMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 23, 2021 at 8:35 am said:

      It is getting more and more popular with tourists now. So much fun. You can buy padded pants on the markets here too. Instead of wonder bras they have padded pants. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I WANT THIS! I hope I donโ€™t have to be married to do it, though! Maybe I can convince someone to pretend? Hahaha.
    Sally recently posted…7 Ways South Korea Has Changed MeMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on November 23, 2021 at 4:17 pm said:

      Donโ€™t worry, you donโ€™t have to be married. You can do it with your friends or just by yourself too. It is so much fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Love it! Love your outfit.
    Susie Lampman recently posted…Poker Training ReportMy Profile

  20. Ouch. The sunburns on your back look pretty intense. Nice pictures!!
    Alex Saad recently posted…New Milestone: We are now offering service at over 7,000 zip codes across AmericaMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on January 24, 2022 at 1:25 pm said:

      You would have thought that after putting so much make up in my face they would have covered my sunburn too, hey? ๐Ÿ™‚ I spent a few days before the shoot by the beach. Clearly my skin is not made for tanning!

  21. LOL!! iโ€™m seriously laughing out loud with the butt pads- but only because they made my sister and I wear them too when we did our photoshoot!

    all photoshopping and ridiculousness aside (oh, and during our photoshoot the electricity went out. of course! thatโ€™s phnom penh for ya), you and your husband look like a khmer king and queen! saat men then. =)
    soapie recently posted…Upset SkiesMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on October 30, 2021 at 10:52 am said:

      Ha ha, orkun! It was so much fun and if I am honest I didn`t mind the Photoshop work, because they got rid of all my wrinkles. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Ow Yu Zen on March 5, 2022 at 11:38 am said:

    Hi, your photos look great. Lovely couple. Can I have the details of the studio?

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