Artists You Need to Know: Tatiphon Khun-on – Photographer Chasing the American Dream in the Big Apple


I was born and raised in Thailand. When I was young, I dreamed like any other kids. I wanted to be a doctor, a scientist, or a soldier. I never thought that one day I would become an art director and photographer.

I was never interested in photography until the day of my brother’s wedding when we didn’t have a photographer because my mom and brother couldn’t agree on one. My mom thought they weren’t necessary. I bought a camera that day because I thought it was important to document special occasions.

I really didn’t know anything about cameras or how to take pictures. When I bought the camera, I told the person at the store, “I would like to buy a camera so I can take wonderful pictures.” It was very funny. I didn’t know about ISO, apertures, or and shutter speeds. That was my first camera. After that, I found another part of myself. I realized I loved to take pictures. I enjoyed it when people looked into the camera and smiled. After a few months of practice, my passion grew and I decided to become a photographer.


I learned how to take pictures from Youtube, Google, and talking to other photographers. I tried to take a picture of everything because, at that time, I didn’t know what kind of photography I was most interested in. One day, I realized I loved doing portraits because I loved to look the subjects in the eyes and see the emotion of people in the pictures.


I think it is amazing and challenging at the same time because how do you tell models about what feelings you want to shoot. When I take pictures, I usually imagine I’m making a movie, so I’m focusing on storytelling, feeling, emotion. I think this way is more important than technique.


In my country, I worked in the movie industry. I managed projects, produced ideas, concepts, and designed all kinds of advertisements and printing for movies. I also took pictures for fashion, advertising, and weddings.


Like many people, I still believe, “New York City is the city of dreams.” Last year, I decided to follow my dreams to New York City. I wanted to be a fashion photographer and study English too. Someone said to me “Why are you only now following your dreams at the age of 37.” I said “I don’t care, because at least I am doing it, moreover I don’t care if I succeed or not. I just want to try.”

That was the biggest decision of my life. I left everything in Thailand. I still believe New York City is the City of dreams. Let’s see where this journey takes me.


Catch Tatiphon online here: Portfolio link Instagram:

One person living or dead you would love to hang out with for a day? What would you do?

I would like to hang out with Denise Richards. Because when I was younger, I saw her in movies and I said “OMG! She’s so hot“. At that time, she looked so beautiful, long blonde hair, sexy lips, and wonderful body. I would like to date and spend all of my time with her, especially when she was younger. LOL!

Who is your favorite artist and what does their work say about the way you think?

Kurt Cobain is my favorite artist, forever. I had never interested in rock music until I heard his song. I was listening to his songs a thousand times. He was a genius and created wonderful rock music.

Do you have a nickname? How’d you get it?

My nickname is EARTH. My mom gave me when I was born. I’ve never asked her why gave me that name. When I came to NYC, It is very funny when people ask my nickname. They usually say, “Wow! That’s your nickname? Really?” Because they don’t know about Thai culture. Moreover, some Thai people have nicknames weirder than me. If you want to know, you can search on Google “ Thai Nickname ” Have fun!

It’s very easier to kill someone or slander anyone on Facebook.

Do you think you could survive the zombie apocalypse? Why or why not?

Yes, sure! Why not? If it’s going to happen. I really sure, I’ll survive because I usually practice to kill zombies from XBOX360 and I did very well! Trust me. Anyway, if you don’t want to die, you should stick with me.

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