23 October 2015

Spotting Tilakas in Bangkok

Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means "nine nights" in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Durga aka Devi aka Shakti are worshipped. Navaratri is an important major festival and is celebrated all over India, Nepal, and even Thailand. Despite the fact that many Thais are Buddhists, they combine easily the Hinduist pantheon of colourful gods with Buddha's teaching that god does not exist.

During Navaratri, many Thai beauties line up at Bangkok's Sri Mariamman Temple aka Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee in order to receive a very distinctive blessing from one of the resident Hindu priests: a red "Indian" tilaka is added to their pretty Thai faces…

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand

people, street portrait, headshot, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, Thai beauty, tilaka, beautiful, Navaratri Festival, Thailand, Bangkok, Wat Prasri Maha Umathewee, Wat Khaek, Sri Mariamman Temple, Hinduism in Thailand


The tilaka mark is made of sandalwood paste which has supposedly a cool, soothing effect and the fragrance helps to maintain a pure and clear mind. Additionally, as a "third eye", it might provide perception beyond ordinary sight; boy, oh boy...


Portrait photographs of Thai beauties with red tilaka marks in Matt Hahnewald's

Portrait photographs of Thai beauties without tilaka marks in Matt Hahnewald's

17 October 2015

Plucking Bangkok's Flowers

Pak Khlong Talat is a market in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, that sells flowers, fruit, and vegetables. It is the primary flower market in Bangkok and has been cited as a "place of symbolic values" to Bangkok residents. Though the market is open 24/7, it's busiest before dawn, when boats and trucks arrive with flowers from nearby provinces.

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist

Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, people, closeup, street portrait, Thailand, Bangkok, flower market, flowers, saleslady, flash, 50 mm prime lens, florist


The market accommodates both consumers and wholesalers and has a wide variety of customers. Many local florists and flower lovers visit the market in the early morning hours to stock their shops and houses for the coming day...

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; magnificent; vibrant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; street; headshot; en face; outside; colour; character; personality; human; human head; human face; makeup; human eyes; teeth; lips; facial expression; eye contact; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; fun; environmental portrait; travel; market; Pak Khlong Talat; Flower Market; Bangkok; Thailand; one person; adult; posing; attitude; authentic; smiling; elegant; sophisticated; gorgeous; fabulous; attractive; handsome; cheerful; adorable; joyous; classy; sexual ambiguity; ambiguous; sexually ambiguous person; transgender; genderqeer; ladyboy; shemale; drop earrings


The market has a long history. During the reign of Rama I (1782 - 1809), a floating market took place on the site of the modern Pak Khlong Talat. By the reign of Rama V (1868 - 1910), it had changed to a fish market. The fish market was eventually converted to today's produce market, which existed for over 60 years. Eventually, the market's focus has shifted from produce to flowers which range from local species (e.g. jasmine, chrysanthemum, gerbera, orchids, roses) to imported species (e.g. tulips, snapdragons, iris, lisianthus, delphinium). 

Props and accessories for flower arrangements are also plentiful, whether vases, flower pots, floral foam, ribbons, florist wire, twigs or all kinds of decorative leaves imaginable. If one visits the market, one will be able to see the pretty Thai florists and flower arrangers working on delicate garlands and intricate displays.

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; brilliant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; Nikon SB-400; flash fired; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; indoor; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; mouth; teeth; lips; facial expression; eye contact; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; emotion; fun; mood; tourism; travel; market; Pak Khlong Talat; Flower Market; Bangkok; Thailand; flower arranger; flower seller; flower girl; one person; female; adult; mature woman; posing; smiling; beautiful; fabulous; attractive; pretty; stunning; joyous; enchanting; charming; hair

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; brilliant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; Nikon SB-400; flash fired; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; indoor; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; mouth; teeth; red lips; facial expression; eye contact; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; emotion; mood; tourism; travel; market; Pak Khlong Talat; Flower Market; Bangkok; Thailand; flower arranger; flower seller; flower girl; one person; female; adult; young woman; posing; smiling; beautiful; fabulous; attractive; pretty; stunning; enchanting; charming; hair

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; brilliant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; Nikon SB-400; flash fired; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; indoor; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; mouth; teeth; lips; facial expression; eye contact; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; emotion; fun; mood; tourism; travel; market; Pak Khlong Talat; Flower Market; Bangkok; Thailand; flower arranger; flower seller; flower girl; one person; female; adult; young woman; posing; smiling; beautiful; fabulous; attractive; joyous; enchanting; charming; hair


Street portrait photographs of Bangkok's beautiful florists in Matt Hahnewald's

Street portraits from Bangkok's floating markets in Matt Hahnewald's

16 October 2015

Hitting on Asia's Genderqueers

Gender consists of more than two distinct, opposite and disconnected categories; it’s a rather long male-female continuum with infinite possibilities and ceaseless gradual transitions in-between the two extremes. Genderqueer is the catch-all name for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine - identities which are thus outside of the simplified Mars-Venus gender binary; genderqueer is not transgendered. There are many proud and beautiful genderqueer people on this planet, especially in South and Southeast Asia where the map is never the territory...

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Philippines, Bohol Island, Tagbilaran, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, genderqueer, transgender

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Thailand, Songkhla, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, posing, genderqueer, transgender

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Indonesia, Sumatra, Banda Aceh, sexual ambiguity, ambiguous, genderqueer, posing, transgender

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, night, Asia, Thailand, Prachuap Khiri Khan, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, genderqueer, posing, hand-held fan, transgender

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, long hair, bosomy, genderqueer, transgender


"Gender is like a Rubik’s Cube with one hundred squares per side,
and every time you twist it to take a look at another angle,
you make it that much harder a puzzle to solve..."

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Malaysia, Kuching, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, long hair, genderqueer, stripe cake, kek lapis, transgender

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Malaysia, Kota Kitabalu, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, genderqueer, transgender

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Indonesia, Java, Yogyakarta, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, heavily made-up, genderqueer, transgender, singer

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Thailand, Bangkok, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, genderqueer, blue eyes, transgender, shemale

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Malaysia, Sarawak, Serian, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, genderqueer

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Indonesia, West Kalimantan, Sintang, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, sexually ambiguous person, make-up, genderqueer

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Indonesia, West Kalimantan, Sintang, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, sexually ambiguous person, make-up, genderqueer

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Thailand, Bangkok, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, genderqueer

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Malaysia, Tioman Island, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, heavily made-up, genderqueer, transgender

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, people, street portrait, closeup, Asia, Thailand, Bangkok, sexual ambiguity, beautiful, ambiguous, sexually ambiguous person, transgender


Portrait photographs of Asia's adorable genderqueers in Matt Hahnewald's

Portrait photographs of Bangkok's pretty temple dancers in Matt Hahnewald's