The Elephant Photographer of Chiang Mai
Locally, I am known as The Elephant Photographer. This makes me smile as 7 years ago when I made Chiang Mai my home, I had never considered taking photos of people with elephants. I am happy to be known as that. However if you look at my site you will see that I do take many other types of photos too! Weddings, pre-weddings and other photo tours are all available.
Chai Lai Orchid Feels Like Home
My association with Chai Lai Orchid started around 4 years ago when I was invited to shoot a wedding for them. I couldn’t believe the beauty of the river and the lush forest in that location, not to mention how lovely it was to work so closely with elephants. Since then and 500 + photo shoots later, I feel that the Chai Lai team and the elephants are part of my family and Chai Lai Orchid feels like my second home.
Photos Born of Love
Every shoot I do is more than just work. I deeply love the elephants, the mahouts (handlers) are my friends and every photo shoot produces fantastic images. This is because I am now so familiar with the elephants behavior, personalities and mannerisms. I also know the terrain and river and therefore know just where to take you. I know how to position the elephant and myself to get the very best angles and light for your portraits with these magnificent creatures.
Know Your Elephant!
When I realized that elephant photo shoots were going to become a big part of what I do I decided to learn as much as I could about elephant welfare. I did some voluntary work with a foundation and deepened my knowledge wherever I could.
I wouldn’t call myself an expert but all of that learning has really helped me understand the very complex issues around the question of elephant tourism and elephant welfare.
And talking of knowing your elephant, I can’t finish without mentioning Seavoy, my very special elephant model. We have worked together so often that I feel a deep bond with her and, by coincidence, we happen to be the same age :)
Other Chiang Mai Elephant Photo Shoot Locations
I can take photographs for customers at other elephant locations, most notably, Patara Elephant Farm.
The Patara location in the mountains of the Samoeng area is beautiful. Most important, Patara are doing great things for Chiang Mai elephant welfare. Their breeding program is very successful.
If you would like me to take your portraits at Patara I’d love to do that for you.
*Please note – At Patara you will be part of a group so it is not possible to privately hire the elephant. I will get great photos for you but there will be other people somewhere in the frame. However the pond where the elephants bathe at the end of your experience is very lovely. We get some amazing and beautiful images there. Patara also have a lot of baby elephants so, there are plenty of “cute” opportunities.
Please note that Patara do have their own photographer but they will be taking photos of the entire group. For more personal photos it is better having me as your private photographer to document your experience.