Chalinee Thirasupa

Chalinee Thirasupa

Bangkok, Thailand.
Nakhon si Thammarat, Thailand.
“My camera is my real friend, my best buddy. It takes me wherever I want, fosters new friendships, helps me explore the unknown, and is a sketchbook to preserve all my memories.”


I shoot everything from breaking news, political and economic events to protests, sports, portraits and feature stories.

One Shot

. Bangkok, Thailand. Reuters/Chalinee Thirasupa
Buddhist monks wearing face shields and masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, collect alms in Bangkok, Thailand, March 31, 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has entirely changed the way we live. Every morning in Thailand, it’s common to see lines of Buddhist monks collecting alms. But it was completely surprising to see them with face shields on, signalling the new normal in Buddhism. I found a perfect green fence to contrast the monks’ yellow robes against, and luckily a man in a green mask walked by as well at the same time.”


I am somewhat of a black sheep in my family of soldiers and state enterprise employees. I used to take pictures of my friends and family for fun in high school. In university, I bought a camera and lens kit of my own. Without easy access to the internet and social media, I was forced to experiment, and ask other photographers about the things I couldn’t figure out. I loved shooting portraits of people, and even my pets! I then started to shoot graduation ceremonies part-time to get money to buy new lenses.

Frankly speaking, I never, ever thought I would end up as a full-time photojournalist. As an athlete, I love playing and watching sports. So, when I had a camera, I started taking photos of my friends while they were competing. I wasn’t good at it, but I kept practising shooting sports and that’s when I really fell in love with taking pictures.

I was covering the rehearsal of the coronation of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, when I was offered an assignment to cover the procession for Reuters. I accepted excitedly without hesitation. One difficulty I had was to readjust my shooting style. Every frame had to be taken with composition and exposure in mind, and only the best shots were selected to be published.

COVID-19 turned the entire world upside down. I went to many places and met many people to try and portray the global war against an invisible enemy. I looked at many photographs from around the world and have been learning a lot during assignments. The selection of my photographs as editor’s choices and their publication in newspapers and on websites around the world has thrilled me immensely.

My photo story about a Thai transgender drag queen fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and democracy in Thailand has excited me the most. I love working on longer-term stories, building relationships with subjects and finding out more about their lives. It took more than two months to complete this project, but it was such a great experience coming to understand people I never thought I would meet.

Everybody can make mistakes or miss a good shot during an assignment. But once it happens, you have to let it go and focus on what you have to do next. As a photojournalist today, you have to be able to multi-task to remain competitive. You have to be fast, sharp and accurate in every detail you deliver. Lastly, you have to show what is happening without prejudice. Sometimes, the truth can be against you or more complicated than it seems. Remember to follow your instincts and be honest about what you photograph.

Behind the Scenes

. Bangkok, Thailand. Vachira Kalong/Vachira Kalong
Reuters photographer Chalinee Thirasupa covers an anti-government protest at Democracy Monument while on assignment in Bangkok, Thailand.
. Capas, Tarlac., Philippines. Dam Tuan Duy
Reuters photographer Chalinee Thirasupa on assignment during the SEAGAMES 2019 at The New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas, Tarlac, Philippines.