i’m back from a whirlwind trip to Thailand. visited an orphanage, rode a elephant, and got soaked by the extended Songkran festival while river rafting, all in Chiang Mai. got down to work photographing NightLight staff while they worked on some amazing jewelry. met up with Chris who works with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) who took me around Nana Plaza and told me all of the ins and outs of photographing in a red light district. Chris also heads the MST Project that works with the men who buy sex workers. MST Project’s mission statement is “Men are not part of the problem but rather part of the solution.” pretty powerful stuff. he says that a lot of his work is to change people’s perspective of the men who buy sex. and on my last day, i photographed a handful of signature pieces and some of the new lineup of jewelry on the streets of Bangkok.
i didn’t bring any of my digital gear so i borrowed Katie’s equipment, an Olympus E-520 with the kit 14-42 and 40-150 lens. to be honest, it’s amazing what you can do with just a basic consumer kit. Katie is NightLight’s jewelry designer. she’s got an awesome vision for where she wants to take the jewelry, and is coming out with some fantastic stuff. Katie, Gift (her design intern), and I headed out onto the streets of Bangkok on one of the hottest days i’ve experienced, 40 plus degrees celsius and probably 90% humidity. add in all of the pollution and you’ve got a sweltering day for a photo shoot.
the idea was to place the jewelry in, on, around the busy streets of Bangkok. using the urban landscape to create interesting backgrounds for the jewelry. i grabbed a couple of sheets of white paper to use as reflectors but the sun was already so high in the sky at 10am i didn’t really use them. plus white doesn’t reflect enough to really counter act the sun. it was funny how many people stopped and watched as i crouched on the ground taking pictures. when i was in China and Japan i remember seeing photo shoots everywhere i went. no so much in Thailand, it was like i was a new street performer. half way through Katie asked me if i was going to take a shower after, i totally didn’t notice how dirty i was getting from shooting everything from such a low angle.
i think the images turned out pretty good. i’m hoping NightLight can put them to good use. you can find NightLight’s jewelry here. they have a brand new website launching soon, so don’t mind the design for now.