Posted on December 4, 2013
Legend has it that in 1767 when Thailand’s then-capital of Ayutaya was captured by the Burmese and thousands of Thai soldiers were incarcerated, the prisoners were made to fight against Burmese boxing champions for the entertainment of the king. One Thai soldier fought his way to the top and so impressed the Burmese king that he was granted his freedom.
Now the Prison Fight organization, working with Thailand’s Department of Corrections, is taking this fighting spirit and applying it in a modern context—allowing Thai inmates a chance to fight for their freedom. Literally. Through an ongoing series of planned events, the charity organization is giving Thai prisoners a go at redemption through this traditional martial art. There are cash prizes and a chance for reduced sentencing for even those convicted of violent crimes.
Of course, to be eligible for the program you need to meet several prior qualifications and be in good standing within the penitentiary. So really the reduced sentencing comes down to good old good behavior. But there are other benefits as well. The prisoners get a chance to train and stay healthy and alleviate the inevitable, crushing boredom of a life behind bars.
I had the opportunity to visit Klong Prem prison in Bangkok, Thailand for an afternoon last week. The prison is one of a handful participating in the program. I was shown around the cells and allowed to speak with some inmates about Prison Fight and Muay Thai in general. It’s a fascinating if convoluted story. And one that I’m only beginning to explore. Here are just a few photos from within the prison walls.
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Posted on November 20, 2013
This past weekend I had the great honor to photograph a two-day Malay Muslim wedding in Singapore. Vibrant colors, beautiful people, and friendly families–plus about 12 too many servings of beef rendang–all combined to make it one of the more memorable ceremonies I’ve ever attended. Here’s a quick shot of the bride’s hands, folded in prayer, during the solemnization on the first day. More later. When life gets less busy.
Posted on November 13, 2013
Posted on October 8, 2013
I had a great assignment the other day with a new client–Domi, a small new brand from a boutique fashion designer based in the United States. It was basically six outfits–all nightwear and all white cotton–that she sent over to me in Hanoi. She gave very little in the way of direction, saying that she loved some of the other fashion work I’d done, and that I should just kind of go out and find some nice photos. So pretty much a dream job. Here are some nice simple clothes and I want you to hang out with a beautiful model and not worry about makeup or hair or wrinkles or anything else. Just get on a motorbike and go. Which is what we did. We ended up finding an old abandoned bus in a rice field on the outskirts of the capital. We also visited a longan garden on the river and a factory rooftop downtown. Plus a few seedy short-time motels. Luckily I’ve worked with Trang Pham–in my humble opinion the most gorgeous and talented model in all of Vietnam–many times before, so she was game to entertain me on some of my stranger requests with barely more than an arched eyebrow. Here are a few photographs from the day. Thanks to Ali for being such an amazing and relaxed client and letting me loose with her clothes. And thanks to Trang for spending the day with me and never giving less than 110%.
Posted on October 3, 2013
Three little scenes from a recent fashion shoot in Hanoi, Vietnam. Trying out some new ideas. Searching the city for some new inspiration. I found an old abandoned bus in a rice field in the suburbs. We also made our way to a factory rooftop and a few short-time motels for some grit and grime to offset the pure white outfits we were photographing. Many thanks to Domi for trusting me to pull something together from half a world away, and to Trang Pham, one of my favorite models to work with anywhere in the world.
Posted on September 20, 2013
I’ve been in Dalat, in the mountains of central Vietnam, working at an amazing new golf resort these past few days. I don’t play golf, but it’s been pretty amazing hanging out and taking photographs in such a beautiful locale. Makes me want to try and take up the sport. Or just ride around with the caddies and a few bottles of cold beer, gently passing through and enjoying the meticulously landscaped landscapes. We’ve been fighting against a typhoon trying to get the photos we need, which has been a challenge, but the weather’s cleared up often enough to get some images I’m really happy with. Here’s a small little selection. I love the saturation of colors after a heavy storm.
Posted on September 13, 2013
I was in Hong Kong this past weekend working with the Mott Visuals Weddings team on an absolutely gorgeous and luxurious destination wedding that took place across the city. Beautiful people, epic locations, and a buzzing metropolis make for easy image taking on my part. Here are a few outtakes from the day.