I'm trying to capture a candid image of floating down the river. However, I could never get a shot without having one of the Thais taking a picture in it.
I’m trying to capture a candid image of floating down the river. However, I could never get a shot without having one of the Thais taking a picture in it.

It is a common stereotype that Asians love to take photos, especially of themselves in front of things. While I wouldn’t suggest that we should believe all stereotypes and use them to classify groups of people, this one was proven time and time again in my recent trip to Thailand.  At every stop the Thais insisted we strike a variety of cute poses in front of landmarks. It was treated seriously like a professional photo shoot as all our poses were arranged into the perfect position and we had matching attire.

When I asked why the Thais love photos so much, my Thai friend Luck, replied it is because friendships are really important to them and they don’t get to travel much so they really want to remember the moments. I found this to be ironically funny because sometimes it seemed like that was all there was to the moment – the race to capture it in photography. What experience were we capturing when we had to all peer out from behind random trees, or pose in front of every National Park sign? I’m not sure.

I also did some informal research into the phenomenon and according to the blog Stuff Asians like “The act of self photography is in part a survival mechanism. Asians are, for the most part, quiet and unobtrusive (unless they are shouting into a phone or yelling at their children). Without self-documentation, Asians risk disappearing altogether. ”

Rather than fight it, I decided to embrace my inner Asian and let the cheesy poses take over. And you kn ow what – it was a lot of fun! Check out a select few from the millions of  pics from my recent Thailand trip.

Advertisements