To celebrate Pride this month, we’re sharing the stories of young creatives showing their pride and proving that love is love. We’ve partnered with GLSEN to introduce an exclusive collection of graphic tees and hats, as well as Fujifilm to curate a Instax Mini Group Show with all profits donated to GLSEN in support of LGBTQ youth. Here we chat with Rayana Chumthong- Los Angeles based Unit Still Photographer.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I’m a LA based Set Photographer by ways of NYC and MD. I love to document the cinematic process, shoot street photography, portraits and work on my own colorful and whimsical art. My favorite medium is shooting on film. I also have a weird knack for capturing people in their most candid of moments.
What does love mean to you?
Love is a really big construct to me but so far I’ve figured out that love is what we’re made of -- it’s universal and exists in all living things.
Are there any people in your life who have been particularly inspiring for you?
My parents, of course. They left their nest in Thailand when they were young and immigrated to America on a one way ticket to NYC from their honeymoon in Hawaii. Their adventuring gypsy spirit forever lives within me.
What's something about yourself that not many people know?
I moved to NYC to find myself. My inner-child was calling and needed to be rediscovered again after suppressing my creativity during college. I was uninspired, unfulfilled and unhappy post college graduation and knew my environment had to change. By the end of my NYC tenure, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and drove across country from Brooklyn to LA to manifest those dreams.
Why are you proud to be who you are?
I’m still the same person as I was growing up. I’ve changed and evolved into the better version of myself but my heart is still compassionate and kind. I live my true self every day and I’m confident about who I am and the trajectory of where I’m going.
What is one thing that you wish everyone would remind themselves every day?
Do something that scares you. You never know what the hell you’re capable of unless you do something you’re not entirely comfortable with.
Why is it important to love yourself?
Why would you not? Love THYSELF before you love anyone else.
What's next for you?
I’ll be working as a set photographer on the second season of a zombie apocalypse reality game show which I’m really excited about because I love zombies. I’m also collaborating with two other friends on a colorful and fun passion photo series project which we will be into a printed zine!
Any advice that you can share that will empower others to be who they are?
Positivity will get you very far.
Lastly, what do you hope for people to take away from your Fujifilm Instax Film series for the upcoming Space 15 Twenty group show?
Sad Ice Cream Cone’s adventures is an introspective journey of a melancholy and misfortuned ice cream cone that finds his way to happiness through the little things in life.
Check out more details on the upcoming UO Pride Fujifilm Instax Group Show here!
Follow Rayana on Instagram