Defining a picturesque city of love, through the lens that consummate brilliance with awe, who knew that an artist of Cambodian origins would make Paris look breathtakingly surreal through photography? Even before Instagram received a mind’s eye on parading celebrities and influencers through thousands of pictures, a young man with the verbatim eyes for photography strolled through the streets in Paris, clueless about the stardom he was walking into.
Ever visualised a city that awakens the wanderlust in you to explore the life it gives to the streets, rivers, cafes or even the weather? Who or what could lure your eyes to a charm expressed through snapshots? With a hint of envy, we would choose to say ‘Through VuThéara Kham’s eyes’. Today, this shutterbug stands as Instagram’s most loved Parisian Photographer, crossing a million followers on the popular photo-sharing platform.
We took immense pleasure in hopping into a fun tête-à-tête with VuThéara Kham, the man who set a new benchmark in still photography. As a moment of glory, Kham graced our team with his debut English interview, also amusing us with a melodious piano piece. So, how much talent is considered too much talent?
Where it all began, without a camera
Just like any career-seeking youngster, VuThéara set foot in Paris for the first time in 2007, landing himself a job in designing for various start-up companies. A full-time designer Kham came across Instagram in its initial days back in January 2011, which was about to change his life forever!
At that point in time, following a serendipitous consequence of setting up an Instagram account on his smartphone, VuThéara did not have pictures to post or even a professional camera to flaunt. But later, Kham began clicking pictures ‘for the gram’ on his iPhone. Since then, clicking photos has become an inescapable routine for this young photographer.
Just as the stars would align, VuThéara’s eyes found his muse through the City of Love- Paris. He was inspired to bask in the city’s charm by all of the elements that made Paris look like a phenomenon out of a dreamy movie. “I want to show my vision of Paris through calmness, poetry, the lover and people. For me, people represent Paris,” VuThéara says.
Since 2015, VuThéara Kham has established his passion for photography as a full-time profession which opened doors for countless opportunities. The Paris Tourist Office and the Opera of Paris are some of his regular clients, which paved the way for his work to reach big brands like Sony, Apple, Coca-Cola, Samsung and much more.
“Camera is just a gear, but what’s more important is your eyes,” he says when we ask him about his gear. His first ever camera was the iPhone 4 and all the way to his latest Leica M9, VuThéara Kham had the privilege of being the camera brand Sony’s ambassador for 6 years, only humbling this man with every step of fame.
Not playing the Number game
The year 2015 made a mark on VuThéara’s Instagram by marking a million followers. Rain or snow, he never failed to take a picture every day. VuTheara makes an unpresuming statement saying, “If you have 1 million followers or 10,000 followers, it is not important. It is just a number.” VuThéara hopes to be recalled as a skilled artist, rather than being remembered as an Instagram celebrity.
Keeping all the technicalities of photography aside, Kham wants his learners to see what lies in front of them to capture the beauty of those precious moments. VuThéara has a brilliant vision of Paris laid out for the future of his snapshots.
Even though his eyes are in Paris, his heart lies in Cambodia. Born into a Cambodian family in 1982, VuThéara Kham’s parents migrated to Normandy in 1981, serving Cambodian cuisine to the French at their restaurant. Kham recalls teenage days when he, along with his brothers, helped in the restaurant kitchen. His parents taught him the core value of money and to this day, he upholds the morals taught through experience by his parents.
“When I go out and take pictures, I’m very happy,” he says. If there exists a desire that seems unfulfilled in this Parisian photographer’s life, it would be to globe-trot and take pictures along the way!
VuThéara’s love for portraits and street photography has no bounds, making him capture the best essence of life in stills. To put it simply, he is a tale of fame through frame.