I went on an amazing once-in-a-lifetime bikini fashion photography mentorship on Koh Samet with the legendary Tada Varich of Vogue Thailand (among other publications) fame. As expected, he was very inspirational and gave such practical advice. There were also a few insider gossip and tips on how to succeed in the Thai fashion photography industry and how it differs from the west. I took in all the information he was spouting like a sponge. It was nice to rub shoulders with photographers from different fields and many were there to share their own knowledge too. The hotel we stayed at pretty much had it’s own secluded beach and photographing models in bikinis was a breeze as there weren’t many prying eyes and they were comfortable in the private setting.
It was made pretty clear that the whole purpose of the trip was not to update our portfolios, but to rather, watch and learn. There were definitely some sighs and moans as Mr. Varich mentioned that! Some people were looking forward to use the images to their advantage, but alas, the model’s contract’s weren’t inclusive of such things. We did get about an hour around each model to try and get some interesting photos though. But as you can imagine, it was a difficult task with so many other fashion photographers squeezing each other to try and get the right framing for their own shots.
I’ll have to admit, I did say “once-in-a-lifetime bikini fashion photography” workshop, but it looks like the Tada Varich crew will be holding it annually but that’s not to say, it’ll always be on the beach with imported bikini models!
The fruits of my labour
We got the chance to see the master himself do a fashion shoot on several different models – some were Russian and some were local ones. Here are some that I shot in a 2-3 minute time limit: