Yort Mairaing is a film and photography freelancer based in Bangkok, Thailand. He studied at the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University. He has a strong focus on fashion photography and is very insightful in the Thai fashion industry.
Yort, how did you start working in photography?
My name is actually Parkorn Mairaing, since Thai people will have a given nickname or acquired nickname. My given nickname is ยอด which is pronounced like yord, but I have chosen to write in English as Yort. It started out as a corporate shoot, then a family shoot and studio portraits. Currently, I am working in product and fashion photography, mostly online retail-related.
Retouching fashion models may be obnoxious for certain persons on the perception of their body. What is your attitude towards retouching?
I can feel the pressure to look like what you perceived as “normal” but the “normal” is actually a warped body image. I, in my good conscience, don’t want to be contributing to the body image issue that young people these days have to face. By the way, I am also a professional fitness trainer. I like when people have a healthy relationship with their bodies.
I am an advocate against leg-lengthening retouch in fashion or any form of retouching result that is unattainable in nature. To ensure that the proportion doesn’t deviate from nature too much we would only use lens and posing to obtain the shape and proportion in the picture.
Corona interrupted activities in the productions of the visual arts. How did you deal with this new situation as a freelancer?
Actually, the pandemic has motivated retailers to intensify their online activities and to show more products online. In my opinion, many traditional retailers used to view online channels as nothing more than another portal to contact the brand but now retailers realized that the online experience might have to be the complete brand experience for the customers (browsing, inquiring, purchasing, aftersale).
The fashion style at Pumasala reminds me of Chinese patterns, but with a Vietnamese cut.
Maybe the traditional cut was a traditional cut for a reason? Maybe because it fits the average East Asian female body so well? I am only guessing at this point. We only know that we can borrow from many traditions to fit a contemporary setting. Indeed the model is the owner of this fashion shooting. We were hit by Covid and the lockdown of malls. Pictures were required urgently. From our experience, our customers also prefer a model that they can imagine themself to be (they like the models that look closer to their size and shape, like average people. So we tried a different approach from our art direction.
Elegant business styles in times where office workers do home office might have become harder to sell. How do you experience it?
We used to be so concerned about our brand perception and how high-end our customers perceived our brand to be. But now we know that our repeat customers really love the quality that they get and the consistency of the fitting across the years. The style used to be for young professionals or those who are already established in their career and want to be fashion-forward in their professional setting. Now the definition of the “workplace” is more expanded, we also serve a more casual setting to the same customer base.