Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Personality: Capturing the essence of life

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Chusak Uthaipanumas is one of Thailand’s most celebrated photographers, having won over 500 awards and photographed the Thai Royal Family and former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice – all out of his humble Phuket studio in Chalong.

But for Chusak, photography is not about fame or money.

“I got out of Bangkok and moved to Phuket 24 years ago when I was just 26. I wanted to get out of the hectic Bangkok lifestyle.

“I didn’t want my life to be all about profit margins, or like some competitive sports game,” Chusak says.

“My photos are not for sale. I do not take them to make money. They are my thoughts and concepts expressed in an image,” he adds.

Chusak lays out a magnificent array of photos and awards on the table, including a UN World Environment Day Photography Contest award and two highly coveted Ballantine’s Photography Awards from London.

These competitions received 30,000 and 12,000 entries, respectively, from countries all over the world.

Chusak also likes to be locally involved, and particularly enjoys taking photos of the Rawai sea gypsies, a pastime that landed him an award from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

He also recently won the Wichit Municipality’s ‘Travel the Thai Way in Wichit’ photo contest for his outstanding photo Cheewit Haeng Sai Nam Mudong (Life of Mudong Canal).

His pictorial and almost poetic photographs make it easy to understand why his skills are so widely recognized.

Themes such as the environment, children, water and local lifestyles are evident throughout his work.

“I especially like photographing children as they are always full of movement and expression, and they don’t have an agenda. They are innocent and pure subjects,” he says.

Chusak, now 50, was educated in industrial design and for a time thought about becoming an interior designer, but he prefers a modest lifestyle, making a living from photographing family events while pursuing his hobby of pictorial photography in and around Phuket and elsewhere in Thailand.

“Photography is natural. The desire to document the world around you is something that is innate in us, like spirituality and other aspects of daily life. For me, when I photograph, it is meditative and therapeutic,” he says.

He serves as a board member of both the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand and the Bangkok Photographic Society. He also teaches photography at Phuket Rajabhat University, free of charge.

At age 10, most of his friends from the “photography community” were 70 or 80 years old. They passed on their knowledge to him, helping him to learn techniques and develop his style.

This is the root behind Chusak’s desire to pass his knowledge and techniques forward, and to keep the art of photography alive. It also explains why he has an older and more contemplative style of photography, preferring film to digital cameras – and not being a fan of Photoshop.

“It’s more natural that way, when you really capture a moment, from the right angle, with the best light and timing,” he says.

He believes that preparation, concept and subject are the keys to a good photo – not taking many

snaps of the same object and hoping for the best, or by digitally manipulating the image.

Chusak’s incredible skill and technique have taken him far, but his attitude to photography and life in general are also valuable teachings for future generations: observe, appreciate, consider – and then capture.

— Alexandra Andersson


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)33 seconds ago

Phuket officials add new layers of restrictions, Central closed for 7 days

Thailand44 mins ago

Korat construction camp closed following Covid outbreak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 14,150 new cases; provincial totals

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Crime2 hours ago

Attorney General still plans to indict Red Bull Heir, cites new ‘evidence’

Best of2 hours ago

5 of the best spa hotels in Hua Hin for a relaxing getaway

Bangkok2 hours ago

Bang Sue walk-in vaccinations for elderly expats to end Saturday

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Special train takes Covid patients home to northeastern Thailand

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 best bars in Krabi

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Dying Samut Prakan mother tells daughters to go to orphanage

Pattaya5 hours ago

American charged after not wearing a face mask at a Taco Bell in Pattaya

Thailand5 hours ago

GMT | Covid update, monkey business, Thai gold | July 27

Coronavirus World5 hours ago

Travel bubble plans abandoned amid global spread of Delta variant

Pattaya5 hours ago

Over 66 people arrested in police raid at Pattaya beach club

Coronavirus Vaccines6 hours ago

Government under increasing pressure to share details of vaccine procurement deals

Coronavirus Thailand6 hours ago

Covid patients with positive antigen test no longer need PCR test prior to treatment

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8