Photographing the ‘real’ Thailand


I have written before about the photographic opportunities that there are in Thailand with beaches, temples, nightlife and beautiful ladies in abundance.  Blue skies, blue waters and amazing islands can be found in any tourist magazine, but do these shots represent the ‘real’ Thailand?  The Thailand that you and I live in.

Like most ex-pats, my first real home was in the usual gated community.  30 houses, each with an ex-pat husband and a Thai wife and lots of Eurasian children.  Many photo opportunities, but do mixed marriages, three bedroom houses and mixed parentage children (albeit photogenic) represent the ‘real’ Thailand?  Simple answer, No!

What I wanted to find were opportunities to photograph the ‘real’ Thailand, and especially Pattaya where most of us live.  The answer came after our moving from the gated community to living in a shophouse, one of several in a row.

It was after being there for a few months I began to realize that I was now living in the real Thailand, where Thai people predominate going about their separate lives, yet welded together by living side by side in the soi.  This is a soi where the odd farang is probably very odd indeed.  In this busy soi was the basis for a series of photographs which would show life in Thailand.  The concept of a small project that would be reproducible for you to take in your soi became the reason for this week’s column.

Take your images and mount them side by side and you will have captured the real flavor of Thailand.  It is an easy project.  Try it this weekend.