Arnaud Fasnacht guides us through his journey to Myanmar where he was overwhelmed by the hospitality and its heart-warming culture. Being a photographer as a hobbyist he likes to put down the beauty of the places and people he sees in a strong setting because as the saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words.
« When the plane touched the ground at Yangon Airport I was thinking: "I’m going to enjoy one more amazing travel experience" but I was so far away from the reality. Traveling 4 weeks in Myanmar was much more than just a great travel ... »
❝ Burmese people call their country golden land and this is true. Golden as every morning and every evening which offers you an impressive landscape rocked by golden colors. Golden as the faces of the inhabitants which are always smiling, happy and curious to discover the travelers. Golden as all the beautiful pagodas that point to the sky filled with spirituality.
Myanmar was definitely not the easiest travel for me as the way of life is so far away from the one I have in Europe but it was definitely one of the travels where I learned and discovered the most about another culture. One of my highlights was when I did a 30 km trek to a remote village in the mountains. After a 5 hours walk, we finally reached the village with my guide, a young and interesting student woman. By chance, this was the first school day of the year and while walking through the village some locals invited us to join them for a small ceremony at the school and share the meal. I found myself sitting on an old and tiny wooden bank in a small school full of children and parents eating, laughing and playing. On that day I had the best models I ever had as a photographer, the Burmese were really happy to pose for me and I was very thankful for their hospitality. ❞
What did inspire you to become a photographer and how did you get into travel photography?
I don’t consider me as a photographer as this is not my job and I’m very critical about my pictures. As a lot of people, I love traveling and when I travel I have the feeling my brain is not strong enough to capture the beauty of the places and persons I see. This is the reason why I decided to improve my photography skills in order to try to reproduce what I see and the feelings I experience.
What’s the most touching story in Myanmar that happened to you?
There was not one most touching story. I was touched every day when people were coming to me asking very kindly if they could take a picture with me or simply asking where I come from. This was a huge contrast with our countries in Europe where people are afraid about foreigners.
You’re an online marketing consultant as well. How do you manage to keep a good balance between these two?
Well, online marketing consultant is my job and photographer is a hobby so basically, I work to finance my travel but I love my job because in digital marketing I have a lot to do with beautiful pictures and emotions.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without while traveling?
My smartphone. I know it’s not very uncommon. I love my smartphone when I travel because besides all the organizational help it brings me, it allows me to communicate with the locals by saving their phone number, sending them selfies we’ve taken together, translating some words in their mother tongue … If you use your smartphone correctly it can bring you closer to the people.
What have been your top 3 places to photograph so far and why?
• Bagan in Myanmar. The feeling in Bagan is very special and touched me a lot. I tried to capture it but still, I feel I couldn’t capture what I felt there.
• Patagonia for the breath-taking landscapes. I felt at the end of the world. No need to be a good photographer there, you just need to shoot.
• The Swiss Alps. I love mountains and luckily I have some not so far from my home so as soon as I can I try to capture them.
Tell us something more about the people and their culture in Myanmar!
People in Myanmar are free only for a few years and they’re willing to show their country and culture to the tourists. They are very happy to see that the rest of the world is interested in them and for this reason they’re very generous. Unfortunately, the tourists are not always honest with them and their generosity might change in the future so if you plan to travel there, please respect and protect them.
What has the future planned for Arnaud Fasnacht? Are you going for other big trips?
I hope the future is full of great experiences and travel. There are so many places I would like to see. I still have to wait a bit for my next big trip which will be Namibia at the end of the year 2018 and until then I might have some smaller trips in European cities as well as in the United Arab Republic.