Photography Portfolio of Kevin Landwer-Johan

Ethnic Minorities (Hill Tribe People)

Photographing Ethnic Minorities (Hill Tribe people) In Thailand

I’ve always enjoyed visiting villages and interacting with and photographing many of the hill tribe peoples in Thailand. The northern regions of Thailand are home to many diverse ethnicities who have lived in the mountains long before the current political borders were established. Most of these people now live a modern lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of better housing and infrastructure.

Overt the years I’ve lived in Thailand I have enjoyed many opportunities to photograph special occasions. I have attended Karen weddings, Akha harvest festivals and Hmong New Year celebrations, to mention a few. These are times where people will wear their finest traditional clothing. It makes for a photographer’s paradise. Most of the time though, people in the villages typically wear westernized street clothes, without the visual appeal of their customary costumes.

The best locations to capture these cultures are in model villages which are set up to showcase the various tribal groups and their more traditional lifestyles. Initially I was hesitant to begin taking our photography workshops to Ban Thong Luang because of negative comments I had heard. I am pleased we did visit for ourselves and find that it is really a positive situation for the people who work there. We have come to know many of them and build some special friendships.

If you’re interested to learn more about hill tribe tourism in Thailand, please read this article on my blog.