I have to admit, I’m not a great photographer. My camera makes my photos look good. Or rather, the camera helps make it look like I know what I'm doing. I spent a year and a half in Bangkok and took some amazing (in my own words) photos. Purely by accident, I assure you. See the bottom of this post for examples.

Part of the reason I love Bangkok so much is that it’s visually exciting. There is always something to see. There are always new angles to every street scene. Even on those cloudy and rainy days, there’s something about Bangkok that asks to be captured on film. Rainy days make for the perfect black and white shot.

If you want to get awesome photos in Bangkok, you have two options:

  1. Be an awesome photographer 😉
  2. Learn from amazing photographers 👍

If you’re like me and you choose the second option, a photography tour is a great idea. Especially if you’re new to the city. Photo tour operators know where to get the best shots and where you can find unique photo opportunities. Forget about shooting the same old landmarks. Go deep with someone who knows the city and understands the art of photography.

Photo Tours of Bangkok

The most successful photo tour operators make their clients look good. Clients that take good shots are more likely to get their photos noticed and shared. This, in turn, helps the tour guides as the cross-promotion gets them exposure for their business.

Photo tour guides offer advice and guidance that people like me need. Turn this down, push that button, zoom to here, don’t point at that. Unless you’re a pro, you need guidance. And if you’re not a local, you’re probably looking in the wrong places for the best shots.

If you’ve just landed in Bangkok and want to get the best bang for your buck with your camera, you can wander the streets (see option 1) or you can take a tour (option2).

Tim Russell Photography

I asked Tim of Tim Russell Photography some questions about getting the best photos and making the most of your photo tour in Bangkok.

Where is the best location for street photography in Bangkok?

It depends on what kind of street photography you want to pursue. A creative photographer can get great shots anywhere. Personally, I like the more traditional Bangkok areas, those that have kept their character & their street life – so for me, it's Khlong Thoey, Chinatown & Talat Noi, Wongwian Yai, and Samrong. The extension of the BTS (Skytrain) is making areas like Samrong easier to get to and their long ‘isolation' from the rest of Bangkok means they still have loads of character.

Stepping off the BTS into Samrong or Wongwian Yai is like going back in time.

What's the most important thing that a photo tour operator does?

As someone who both runs photo tours and books them when I travel, the key thing is that the tour operator introduces photographers to areas that they might not otherwise find themselves. Or which they might not feel comfortable visiting alone, such as my Khlong Thoey ‘slum' tour. Most clients are capable photographers who just want to get some interesting & original shots to go home with.

Some clients are beginners and so the tour operator should be able to offer technical guidance on camera settings & composition. The tour operator offers encouragement in overcoming shyness and approaching strangers. And I think it's important that a photo tour operator should also be good company, a good storyteller, and have good local knowledge and contacts.

What kind of people take your tours? Where are they from?

People with a decent level of photography experience. It varies from experienced professionals to complete beginners! And I've had clients from the US, Australia, UK, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Germany, Holland, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore. Just about everywhere.

Tim Russell photography bangkok photo tours itineraries

What do you offer over other tour operators in the city?

Not sure as I don't look at what other operators are doing – I have my little niche and I stick to it. I offer good local knowledge, good camera skills, affordable rates and, I hope, 3-4 hours of good company.

Which is better, daytime or night photography?

All down to preference. Night photography is more of a challenge in terms of camera settings but with the streets of Bangkok being so active at night, and being a very safe place to wander around, this is a good city to try it out. But my tours happen during daytime as that's when the markets I visit en route are busiest.

Best photo spots in the city?

See my answer to Q1! I'd say for first-time visitors to Bangkok, Chinatown ticks most boxes as it's a good mix of temples, markets, busy streets and tiny hidden alleyways with lots going on.

Can you recommend a photo gallery of Thailand and Bangkok?

Street Photo Thailand is a really good local street photography collective. For more travel-oriented shots, there are loads of material on the usual places – 500px, Pinterest and Instagram.

What's your favourite street photo of Bangkok?

Probably this one:

Street photo of Thai man in Bangkok

Photo by Tim Russell Photography

Khun Lem lives in the middle of the Khlong Thoey slum, and every inch of his body (or at least every inch that he's been prepared to show me!) is tattooed. Although he looks quite intimidating he's a lovely, gentle guy who is always happy to be photographed when he sees me walking by. A photo session with Mr Lem is always one of the highlights of the tour for my clients.

Tim’s Photo tours in Bangkok cost around US $140 per person for solo travellers. Groups get a better rate so it’s wise to try to get a few people together to take the price per person down. Tours last around 4 hours and include a post-tour photo critique.

More about Tim

Unlimited Photo Storage

Portfolio Therapy

Dennie Cody and Duangkamon Khattiya are professional travel and lifestyle photographers. They run workshops, private sessions, tours, and photo expeditions around the capital as well as many other locations in South East Asia.
You can see some of their Bangkok photos on their website.

Elephant on the street in Thailand - Bangkok Street Photography

Dennie explained to me that he does not consider his business to be a typical tour operator but a pair of photographers who live in Bangkok and lead free photo walks. The pair organise walks and tours for two different groups. They also offer private photo walks for those who want to get a taste of the real Bangkok. The groups currently have 5000 members and Dennie and Duangkamon teach basic photography and post processing through photo shoots and private sessions.

Having conducted 75 photo walks in 75 unique communities in Bangkok, they can point to hundreds of locations for the best street photography in the city. No particular place stands above the rest.

What kind of people take your tours? Where are they from?

We get people from all over the world. Our 5000 members are mostly expats who live here and who join the walks.

What do you offer over other tour operators in the city?

We are just two photographers, both professional, one of whom speaks Thai, while we both speak English. We live here and we know the city like very few others in the tour community.

Which is better, daytime or night photography?

Early morning and evening light are the best for photography.

Best photo spots in the city?

Almost where ever you go there are photo ops if you are always looking.

What's your favourite street photo of Bangkok?

That is an impossible question to answer as there are too many to narrow it down to one.

More about DCDK

A traditional TukTuk in Bangkok, Thailand.

Noah Shahar Photography

Noah Shahar is an experienced photographer from Tel-Aviv, based in Bangkok since 2014. He's been working in photography professionally for 25 years but is now based in Bangkok.

Noah's aims “document people and stories through my lens in portraiture and documentary photographs“.

He runs photo walks in the city for street photography enthusiasts and photo shoots for those interested in professional shots in one of the coolest cities in the world.

 

More about Noah

Tours With Locals

If you're still undecided check out WithLocals and select a tour guide based on the tour offer and price. With Locals lets you adjust your own itinerary and select from a range of different tour guides.

 

 

 

Guided Photography Tours in Bangkok
Keith

Blogger, lifelong learner, entrepreneur & musician from Ireland. I've been travelling and living overseas for over 20 years. My mission is to build businesses that allow me to have a simple and independent lifestyle. In the process, I hope to help myself and others with my writing.

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