In my travels to different cities around the world, I love to take photos of street vendors. It doesn’t matter if the place is big or small, you just can’t miss them.
To me, there’s something beautiful about capturing the moment of selling, and it goes beyond two parties exchanging money for food, a ride, a haircut or artwork. When I see customers waiting patiently, smiling or engaging in conversation, I can sense their sense of trust and appreciation for the person selling.
What I love about the art of selling is that it can be mastered by everyone—the young, the old, men and women. These entrepreneurs are not only hard-working, but they also have other qualities that I admire, like patience, persistence, competitiveness and passion. Having to come to work when everyone is still sleeping or staying late at night takes teamwork and a lot of dedication.
An artist working on a portrait at one of the markets in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Sometimes we only get to see the end product but not the process and efforts involved in making the product. On the contrary, I observed this artist at work for a couple of days, but never got to see the end product!
A man with his rickshaw waiting for customers in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I thought the reflection of the green trees and cloud on the canal made this afternoon scene very tranquil.
Jakarta city has many modes of transportation available to the public. The Bajaj (or auto-rickshaw) is one of them. It is not air-conditioned but at least there's a roof on top and side cover that can be used when it rains. I captured this shot from the inside of the vehicle trying to show the perspective of the driver.
I snapped this photo near Suluban Beach in Bali. The batik cloth wrapping the items that the lady was carrying on her head caught my eye.
An elderly food seller carrying his 'mobile' set up on a busy road in Kota Tua, Jakarta, Indonesia. Life goes on!
A man selling live pet fish at the weekend market in Bandung, Indonesia. I like how he hangs the fish around his stall. The market is definitely a great place to see the local community.
Ladies selling flowers in Hanoi (Hà Nội in Vietnamese). The bicycle is an important mode of transportation. This is a common scene that one can see during the day.
A man working on glass in a market in Yangzhou. I was trying to capture his focus and concentration while performing his art.
A group of hardworking trishaw operators waiting for customers in Dhaka.
This was a scene from a morning market in Hong Kong. This particular stall was selling fish and seemed pretty busy. The backstreet also had a lot of people heading to work.
At the night market in Taipei. I captured a food street vendor preparing food for customers. It was a cool rainy night and most of the shops were already closed by the time I got there.
One of the booths selling fresh seafood at the Central Market in Santiago. People who work at the market normally go to work when everyone else is sleeping, making sure that everything is ready by the time people show up at the market in the morning.
A man standing in front of the market in Port Vila. I love seeing the fresh supplies: bananas, taro, coconuts. Lots of buying and selling. Definitely a good spot to interact with the friendly folks of the capital.
I captured this shot in the busy area of Osaka. What I loved about this scene was the teamwork and system in place to get things done. The more you do it, the more it becomes second nature.
I came across this food stall in front of a local coffee shop in Vientiane, Laos. The "uncle", was selling paratha (roti) which is definitely not a local cuisine as far I know. After exchanging pleasantries he told me that he came from Malaysia and had been living in Vientiane for more than 15 years. We spoke in Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysian language) after that and I got a paratha for supper.