I am extremely hesitant to photograph people. And yet the more I travel, the more I get attracted to clicking portraits of strangers, of people who in a way define what their nation is all about. I visited Thailand in July to attend the Thailand Happiness Street Festival. I made some effort to bring back a few pictures of the amazing people of Thailand!
The aim of the festival was to assure people that Thailand was safe for tourists. When I went to Thailand in June, my family was a bit jittery because of the talk of the military coup. When I revisited in July no one at home batted an eyelid. They were already convinced that Thailand was safe, they could let me go without any worries. The people in the picture were standing normally and chatting. I gathered all my courage and asked them if I could click their picture. They immediately transformed their expressions to the quirky ones you get to see.
Tourism Authority of Thailand has come up with a new tagline- Amazing Thailand- It begins with the people. So I thought why not, let me share the people photographs I clicked in Thailand this time.
When I saw this girl with blue hairs, she was singing something and her friend was recording it. The location was Wat Pho or what is also known as the Reclining Buddha. It looked like both the girls were having a lot of fun. I asked her if I could click a picture of her’s and she readily agreed. I wonder if she uploaded the video on a social media channel!
I am quite fascinated by the floating markets of Thailand. I have been to just two, Taling Chan Floating Market and the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. In the Damnoen Saduak Market, where I clicked this picture, tourists could also go in a boat and shop around. This lady was steering a tourist boat. Even though we didn’t do that, it was fun watching the sellers and buyers jostling around in their boats causing boat jams too!
She caught my eye because of the bright color of the wall and the soft toys in the foreground. I also realized that if I used my cell phone instead of the SLR it was easier to click people. I find people in Thailand, particularly in hotels and in shops to be very polite. Even in my normal tone of speaking I may sound rude to them, they are so soft spoken. So I am often on guard to leave my NCR tone behind and be extra cautious so that I don’t sound rude!
The grand old lady had such a sweet smile on her face. She was praying at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. I think photographing people is something I am going to do more and more, as it provides a more intimate sense of connect with the place! It also leaves me wondering what is the story of their life!
PS. I was invited to Thailand by TAT New Delhi
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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