Anat "Ball" Kornkasem is one of five photographers working for Siam2nite, a website dedicated to lifestyle events and Bangkok’s nightlife. The website (www.siam2nite.com), which also has a Facebook page by the same name (facebook.com/siam2nite), recently threw its first anniversary party in December. Since joining Siam2nite in November 2011, Ball, whose hometown is Chachoengsao, has captured hundreds of pictures of people letting loose at parties and other events. The 24-year-old tells us it takes more than having an expensive camera at parties to become a real nightlife photographer.
HOW DID YOU BECOME A NIGHTLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER?
Since I was a kid, I have taken a camera with me everywhere. While studying at Bangkok University, I took some photography courses. After I saved some money, I bought a nice camera and started working as a freelance photographer. I took photos at graduation ceremonies, fashion shoots, product shoots and so on. Nightlife jobs started coming in after I graduated. I freelanced for two years before I found out about Siam2nite. They contacted me via Facebook, inviting me to join. That's how I got my real start as a nightlife photographer.
DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST PARTY JOB?
I was a bit nervous. The good thing was that I had gone out with friends to parties and taken photos with my camera there so I had some practice. My pictures back then weren't good but I kept at it. You have to understand what the nightlife scene is about. If you don't get it, your pictures won't come out well. You also have to put fun into the pictures to make them pop.
ANY FUNNY EPISODES FROM A PARTY?
There are many. You know how people get when they are drunk. Most of the anecdotes involve foreigners. They really know how to let loose and do things Thais usually don't. For instance, a man took off his shirt, put on a wig and danced on stage. He didn't seem to know how to come down the stage afterwards. Drunk people are funny and add colour to a party.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST INTERESTING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Firstly, atmosphere. My job is to capture the fun in the air that takes place in one night. I find this the most fascinating aspect. Secondly, friendship. I've met a lot of people and made more friends [because of this job]. It has broadened my horizons as a person. I didn't have many friends until I became a nightlife photographer. And thirdly, challenge. Taking party photos is a one-take operation. You have to be fast because everything happens so quickly. If you know something is happening and it's a photo moment, you have to get yourself there and capture it. There's no second chance at capturing the action. I've been taking nightlife photos for about three years now and people know me more. When people recognise me and ask me to take photos of them, I'm flattered.
ANY TIPS FOR BUDDING NIGHTLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS?
Many people think it's easy but you have to understand the party scene on a deep level. You have to go out, listen to songs, understand what DJs do, what party organisers do, and what other people you work with do. Being a partygoer who knows a thing or two about taking photos isn't enough. If you don't understand the scene, you are just another drunk with a camera.
ANY TIPS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED AT PARTIES?
Dance. Fun begins when people dance. When fun happens, photographers will capture the shot. That being said, some girls don't want to be photographed dancing because they are concerned they won't look pretty. In this case, you can just come over and ask me to take your picture. I'll make sure your photos turn out pretty.G
About the author
- Writer: Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Position: Guru Reporter