"The festivals in Thailand
are a great escape from the
For the past two years, he has
chosen to call South-
While he's remains proud of his
prairie roots in
So far, his camera has captured
Suharto's downfall, the
But his work is not all doom and
gloom; he has also
The exhibition was a display at The Space, a new gallery in Bangkok showcasing local and international artists, which the owner sees as a refuge for artists. Sandford donated part of the exhibition's proceeds to the Agape AIDS Baby Home in Chiang Mai and the Mercy Center in Bangkok, an inner-city refuge for street children.
"When I did the Agape
story, it was tough on my
Why did u get into the biz?
I worked in the oil patch for years. One day as I was covered head
to toe in grease, I decided to go back to school and be a writer.
While there, I realized that pics are sometimes stronger then
words. You can hear about an incident but without the pics,
sometimes it don't hit home. I would probably have a lot of
writers disagree with me though.
Life magazine has always been an inspiration;
National Geographic, too. It would be great to
get a gig with them: A dream to be able to have
the time and expenses to get immersed in the
Why base in BKK?
Good access to most parts of South-East Asia.
Bangkok is an interesting town: it never sleeps.
It's unsanitized but interesting.
Which photographer do u
admire & why?
James Natchway is great shooter. I met him in
Jakarta. Very focused. It seemed like he was
always in the right position at the right time.
Best shot u took?
Probably one of my favorites would be the
moments after Suharto resigned in May 1998. The
emotion a few students showed following the
announcement was very emotional for me. I had
only spent about 4 months there but the feeling
of victory was felt.
Best shot someone else took?
The shot of the Vietnamese girl, Pham Thi Kim
Phuc, who was burnt by napalm sticks out. It was
taken by Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut for the
When will u know if you've
"made it" as a photo-journalist?
Some of the work I have done with the Karen National Liberation
Army has received international attention. I guess making people
aware of a problem as a result of work that I have published would
be my biggest goal.
Scarist event you've covered?
The May 13 riots in Jakarta. Running through the
streets with hoards of rioters being chased by
the police was very surreal. I was swearing and
cussing at the rioters and they just laughed. A
real adrenalin rush.
Four days before the Jakarta riots, I was
covering the riots in Sumatra. I was riding
around with an Indonesian taxi driver and I told
him it was my birthday. The old guy grinned and
put a techno rock tape into his cassette deck.
Things got rocking. Wacky stuff.
What do u hate about the job?
Probably chasing down the invoices from
unprofessional editors after they have been
hounding you for the pictures and you deliver
them on time. It really pisses me off sometimes
but don't get me started on that.
How do u hope to be
Making a positive difference for some people from the awareness
that I have created and recorded.
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