The Story of a Family of Photographers

The Story of a Family of Photographers

The family of late photographer Vo An Khanh is well-known in the photography circle in Vietnam with two generations who have won many prizes in the art. Vo An Khanh was awarded the State Prize in 2007 and the Ho Chi Minh Prize in 2022 for art and culture. His eldest daughter Vo Thi Kim Cuong and his son-in-law, journalist Dang Anh Ro, are all successful members of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA).


With more than 60 years of holding a camera, late journalist and photographer Vo An Khanh took thousands of photos in every part of Vietnam. His most notable shots were taken during the “fire flowers” period in the American War when he was working as a war correspondent. 

The photography business lauded Vo An Khanh as the pride of Ca Mau - Bac Lieu (his homeland) and the Mekong Delta. During his career, he contributed greatly to the pictures of Vietnam as well as regional photography.


His collection that was nominated for the Ho Chi Minh Prize in 2022 has the power to draw viewers into a roller-coaster of emotions.  From grief, appreciation, to admiration, all of it came down to pride for Vietnamese women, and the Vietnamese people. They all have transformed into Vietnamese symbols worthy of the eight golden words "Hero - Indomitable - Loyal - Responsible" given by Uncle Ho, from the introduction for the collection.

Huynh Thi Dung Deputy platoon leader of the female artillery unit from Cai Nuoc and her teammates on the way to the battlefront in March 1973. Photo: Vo An Khanh

As the daughter of a photo journalist, Kim Cuong was "infatuated" with cameras and the way they were used to record beautiful moments of life. Upon finishing her studies, she worked at Dat Mui Photo Newspaper to follow her dream. 


In 2012, she won her first award with the photo "Spring travel". “When I heard that I had won, I was incredibly happy. That feeling cannot be put into words. But perhaps the happiest person was my father. Because he knew that he now had an heir,” said Kim Cuong.


 Since then, Kim Cuong has gone on many trips all over the country. Her works have been in photo contests from provincial, regional to national and international levels. That proves her statement: “Art does not distinguish whether you start early or later, your physique strong or weak, young or old. Art demands only pure love, true passion, and dedication”.


Guided by his father-in-law, Dang Anh Ro (Kim Cuong’s husband) did not take long to achieve success in his career. From Dat Mui Photo Newspaper (1982), Minh Hai Newspaper (1983), to Bac Lieu Newspaper (1997), the reporter always worked hard and followed the events and movements of national construction across the country, especially the youth movement.

 “Every successful photo journalist or artist must have his own style, his own ‘substance’. It’s something that comes from within that emerges and dissolves into their work,” said Anh Ro.



Anh Ro soon made his mark in the field of photography. He won the silver medal in the Mekong Delta (1993) for the photo "Signal of Revival", First Prize on Art Photo in Minh Hai province (1995); Mekong Delta Consolation Prize (1996) with "Image of Farmers"; an International Excellence Award in Sri Lanka (1995) for "Picture of Farmers" and the National photo exhibition (1998) for "Good Harvest". He currently serves as Head of VAPA’s Bac Lieu Branch. 

By Cong Tam      Translated by Hong Hanh