In his latest series, photographer Larry Hallegua has taken to Pattaya beach in Thailand to capture the characters and happenings of this tourist spot. The project began after Larry moved to Bangkok: “Shooting around Bangkok during the daytime wasn’t interesting me much, it can be a bit soulless during the day, and people tend to be inside because of the heat and humidity. After a few afternoon trips to Pattaya with friends, I started to take a strong liking to beach shooting.”
The beach provided Larry with a cast of characters and there was a “nice mix of cultures all blending together for one reason, the sea”. While Pattaya is supposedly known for its nighttime sex industry, that aspect was something Larry wanted to avoid. “I was interested in the daytime, when tourists and locals were relaxing on the beach. I wanted to show another side to Pattaya, a more playful and whimsical take on the location… On some days the beach feels more like the Costa Del Sol from its 1980s heyday, I wanted to emulate some of that essence in Pattaya.”
We last featured Larry’s work last year, when he captured the streets of China’s Chengdu. He’s adopted a similar style for this new series, capturing his subjects in candid and unexpected moments as they relax. It was Larry’s first time shooting on a beach and with any kind of street photography, a respect for his subjects is something the photographer wanted to maintain. “My general approach is to be fast and unobtrusive, however on a beach there is nowhere for you to hide, so you have to be confident in your approach. I never had anyone object, most of the time they weren’t fully aware I was actually documenting them,” explains Larry.
Larry’s images are a colourful portrait of the beachy resort capturing familial relationships, leisure time and a healthy dose of sun worshipping, and it’s something the photographer wants to continue doing. “At the moment I’ve been focusing on Pattaya, but I will expand it and shoot more beaches around the country… I want people to interpret my photos in any way they want, that’s the enjoyable part of being a photographer.”
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