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Isan Street Party Faces

I am constantly amazed at the number of people who come up to me when I am involved in a street party to have their photo taken. Often it starts with a couple of kids and next things you’ve got half the crowd involved. This post is a pictorial one only to showcase some of the shots I have captured.

What I particularly enjoy when editing afterwards is how well Isan people do at setting themselves up for group photos. There’s no shyness and when you see these examples, each one shines with individuality and character. Not just the group itself but individuals within that group seem to effortlessly project a personality.

These photos have been taken over the current street party season, mostly Bun Bang Fai in May/June and more recently. There are a few of my family mixed in but the majority are unknowns. The funny thing is that the whole point for the subjects is to get their faces recorded, they then have a quick look and are off. There’s no permanence required.

I know my memory of Austalia has faded somewhat after six years away but I don’t recall groups of attractive young girls lining up to have their photo taken by me when I lived there. I’m sure it was happening all the time but has just slipped from my aging mind. 

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  1. Greg Carroll

    Always a pleasure to read your blog and see the images you post Tony. A few more of you in this post too. Hiding up the back with a glass of Leo / Chang / Sangson & lime. We saw you, hoping no one would notice
    Thai’s ability to pose is unique – they capture the moment better than anyone, notwithstanding your ability to be in the right place at the right time. More please.

    • Tony in Thailand

      Thank you Greg. The only time anyone takes a photo of me I seem to have an alcoholic drink in hand. The reality is not like that at all…………..truly 🙂

      Yes. Thais are brilliant in that way. They can both pose uniquely and look terrific as well as when they smile they do it with their entire face. We, and many farang here haven’t smiled since they arrived, tend to smile just with our mouth. No teeth. On an everyday basis Gaun or Yuan will smile and the day becomes a little brighter.

  2. Jon

    It has to be one of the main attractions of the region, a people who on the most part do not have a lot of material possessions but who almost always seem to be able to have a good time and smile wide. In everyday life not just special events. A life lesson every time I am on the ground.

    I have witnessed the power of your camera lens Tony, I have seen them flocking to you to capture there honest enjoyment. You have that special something your not telling us.

    • Tony in Thailand

      I totally agree Jon. Other places in the world are more scenic or whatever but not many can match that infectious enjoyment of life you see in simple events like this one or just in everyday life. A full-on Isan smile is one of the joys of life. It was a pleasure to see your wholehearted involvement in local activities during your time here. It bodes well for your longer term plans for retiring here.


  3. Nobby

    Beautiful images Tony, I wonder if this why Thailand is called LOS (Land of Smiles)


  4. Jim Busby

    LOS!!! Like you’ve said before, Thai people smile with their whole face, and it’s beautiful. And also like you’ve said before, they ain’t shy about having their picture taken. Great photos!



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