There has been a very successful series of photographic books called “A Day in the Life of …” or even the similar “A Week in the Life of …” Tom Chuawiwat, a Thai photographer, who was an old friend of mine, was selected to do one of these for Thailand some years back and it was interesting to hear how the concept was handled.
In essence, a number of photographers were chosen, most from overseas, and let loose in Thailand for one day. During the 24 hours they recorded whatever came into their fancy and then the results were collated and eventually the book was produced.
The fascinating part of all this was the enormous diversity of the photographs. No photographer saw any part of Thailand in the identical way to another, so their portrayal was different. In this way, the resulting photograph was really the extension of the photographer’s mind, and how he or she reacted to the subject. For me, this is the true meaning of photography. All the photographic techniques are purely an aid to help the photographer (you) get the image you want to show. It’s that simple.
Now here’s what I am proposing as the ultimate photographic project for year 2011, which is now already half way through. How about you and I putting together an exhibition we could call “A Day in the Life of Pattaya”? This will be open to every photographer, amateur or professional, adults or children and should show something happening in a day in the life of Pattaya. Being a 24 hour day in a city that never sleeps, there are plenty of different subjects for you to shoot, from the beach vendors setting up their concessions in the mornings, to the retailers, to the baht buses, to the bars and the revelers and into the twinkling night life. Really the subject matter is endless. Dogs on motorcycles, elephants, monkeys. Wats, monks, the giving of alms. Golf, swimming, parasailing. Can you see what I mean? Everything you could ever imagine is out there – just go and record your little bit of it! I am quite sure that there should be enough photographers who might like to participate. Schools could even make this a little project for their classes. The scope is endless.
I am willing to collate the entries and arrange for exhibition space somewhere (but I’m not going to stick my neck out till I see what the response is like). An exhibition that would be your exhibition of how you all see a Day in the Life of our city. To be fair, I would suggest that each photographer select a maximum of four shots, and to present them in 8×10 enlargements. These are called 8R in the photo shops and generally are under 100 baht. This way the images are large enough to display, and simple to handle and mount.
This project should not be thought of as a competition. I am just looking for as many different aspects of Pattaya as possible. Certainly we could have a “people’s choice” during the exhibition, where you could vote for the images you like the best, but I would rather propose that you enter into this project because you support the concept, rather than looking for rewards, other than photographic satisfaction.
Having said all that, let’s see how many of you would be interested in becoming part of “A Day in the Life of Pattaya, 2011”? If we receive enough support I will let you know when the big day (and night) will be, and the great photographic “click-out” will be on. You can email me [email protected] or fax to the Editorial Office on (038) 427 596. I know it’s not new, but it really is an exciting concept and the first time it has been applied to Pattaya to my knowledge. We need at least 20 photographers to end up with 80 prints – and the more the merrier. Discuss this with your friends, teachers, workmates. Let’s do it soon!