Portrait #1: Ploy Phutpheng
“I am 30 years old. I was born in Bangkok, Thailand and I grew up in France between Nice, the French Riviera and Paris. I am a documentary and travel photographer. Photography has been my passion for a decade. I have been graduated from an International Business School with a specialization in Marketing but I decided to change my whole career to become a full-time photographer. Since then, I am working as a freelance photographer for UN Women and had some projects with WHO Thailand amongst others.
I have been living in Bangkok for 3 years now. I spent my first 5 years between Bangkok and Kantharalak, Sisaket Province, in Isaan Region. Then I moved to France, lived most of my childhood in Nice, on the French Riviera. While I was studying, I spent a semester in Rotterdam for my Erasmus Exchange and then, worked in Paris for almost 6 years before coming back to my roots, to live in Bangkok.”
Our 10 questions to getting to know Ploy:
#1 Where are your 3 favorite places in Bangkok?
– Lhong 1919
– Open House at Central Embassy
– The Jam Factory
#2 Where else, besides Bangkok, feels like home?
Nice, French Riviera
#3 How do you like to start your day? And to finish it?
With a coffee!
By making a list of 3 things that I am grateful for.
#4 How do you personally look after your health?
Working out early morning 3 to 4 times a week, using only natural and organic cosmetics, getting inspired everyday with a photography books, hanging out with friends, avoiding GMO, traveling.
#5 Tell us about your childhood: what you loved, what your dreams were and how did they translate into adulthood
Listening to music: it’s more than something I like, it’s an addiction! Either for a short ride on a motorbike or a long journey, my music is my own world and what I need the most since I am a kid.
And taking pictures, of course. I bought my first compact when I was 14 or 15 years old. I started with taking pictures of friends, of food, of anything actually… and my perception of taking pictures has evolved years by years with a lot of practice. I really got into travel photography when I got my first Nikon DSLR. It was at Christmas 2015.
Since then, my approach to photography drastically change… And my 3 months of travel in Asia in 2016 and the pictures I made from my encounters have been a key point in my career-change. With the limitless support of my husband, my dream became reality.
#6 When did health & wellness become a priority in your life?
While working for Novessence, as a Marketing Manager. My manager, Emilie (who is also the founder) is such an inspiration. She brought me into organic, health and wellness thanks to her deep passion.
#7 Who or what are your inspirations? What lights that “fire” within you? Or a cause that keeps you going?
Steve McCurry is my first inspiration. Being a woman photographer is what keeps me going. Most of the photographers are men, and I decided as a female photographer to be the “eyes” and the “voice” of all the women I meet and photograph. Being able to witness a cause, women empowerment and gender equality in my case is like having a power and this is what keeps me going and what pushes me to be better day by day.
#8 What would you say are the traits that make you, uniquely you?
Being kind with others, empathic and open-minded. And my naivety.
#9 Tell us about your current / future projects and where do you see yourself in a few years from now.
And hopefully, one day on a cover of National Geographic! 🙂 still as a photographer, on the field with an NGO and International Organization
#10 Your favorite quote?
“The Future is Yours! Make it” (Unknown).
“Sadhu smoking beedi, Jodhpur”
“Geisha in Gion, Kyoto”
“Standing in Devotion, for Holi Festival, Vrindavan”
“Lady into the light at dawn, Bangkok”
“Women in focus, Hong Kong”
About our portrait series
We believe there is no coincidence in life, but beautiful encounters. Through our experience living in Bangkok, we get to meet wonderful humans whose personal journey we find very inspiring. Our portrait series is our way to put a light on the diversity of paths and backgrounds of the people we come across here and mark our existence.