Honoring the King and His Camera

My wife is from Thailand. Thailand has a king. And the king likes photography. I saw a gallery with his shots…very nice. Think about it, though, how many world rulers can you think of who carry a camera around their neck on a regular basis? I can think of only one, the king of Thailand. That is awesome.

Another interesting thing about Thailand is the love Thai people have for their king. If you have been through Thailand at all in the past three years, you probably would have noticed the inordinate number of yellow-shirted citizens walking around. Do they just like yellow or what? And what in the world does this all have to do with photography. Stick with me, I will pull it all together in a minute.

The yellow shirts are worn in honor of the king. It is patriotism. It is love for the king. It is his color because he was born on the day of the week somehow connected with yellow, so yellow is his color. In the same way the queen is blue, and others in the royal family are pink and orange and so on. I digress.

Well, everybody wears these yellow shirts, and being in Thailand so often, I want one myself. However…

The majority of the photos you see of the king, he has his camera around his neck. I just love that. It is not some PR stunt, at least, if so, he has been faking his love for photography for a few decades now. It adds a layer of authenticity to him. Anyway, the thought hit me, what if I could find a yellow shirt with a camera printed on it? Awesome.

I have mentioned it to a few Thai folks and I always gets suspecting looks. In other words, the king is extremely highly respected and people just do not know if that would be disrespectful in some way. So, I kept suppressing my urge to go out and  have one made. Then it happened…

I saw some for sale! No way! Evidently, I was not the only person thinking it. The nasty twist to the story is that they only had make-me-look-like-a-sloppy-foreigner XL and show-off-my-scrawny-muscles SM. Grrr. What mental anguish! I did not buy one, blast it.

So, I am still looking, but at least I know that others would see it as a sign of respect, a way to say, “Hey king, I really like that you have the guts to be yourself even though you are a world leader and beloved king…and I really like that you carry your camera around more than some self-proclaimed photographers. You are my kind of guy.”

Cooper Strange Written by: