2012: A wonderful year in photos

Someone recently asked me: “2012 is over, where’s your retrospective post?”

Well.. I’ve already been so busy with all of 2013’s new projects that I’ve been rushing forward at full speed. I guess it’s a good thing to just stop for a moment and look back at what happened in the past year.

2012 was a fantastic year. So many good things happened, starting with our marriage, new business opportunities and so much more. It was certainly one of those years that I felt I was growing in my personal and professional life.

In 2009, I took a big step by quitting my comfortable job and backpacking around the world to become a photographer. 2012 was the first year that I really felt like an accomplished professional after so much hard work.

2013 also sounds very promising and big changes are coming into our lives in the next few months. But I’ll talk about them later in a different post.

So here’s a little gallery of some of the best photos I took during 2012, with a little explanation of what it meant to me.

Enjoy and I wish you all a great new year and the realization of your dreams and goals.

2012 was the year I really got into Thai culture and Buddhist holidays. I tried to attend to every festival I could to capture the wonderful mood during these celebrations. This was taken during Visakha Bucha holiday in June, at my favorite temple in town: Wat Phan Tao.

Last year was also the year I launched my “Private Workshops” section, giving photography courses and photo tours in town to beginners or more advanced photographers. I wasn’t really expecting it to work as well but I was surprised by the amount of requests I’ve received since then. The photo above was taken at the “terracotta garden“, a beautiful hidden place where I take my students to practice on their photo skills.

Although 2012 was a very busy year, I also tried to take some time off with my wife and friends out of town. My favorite place to escape was Chiang Dao, about an hour and a half north of Chiang Mai. It’s a beautiful resort under the highest limestone mountain in Thailand with a beautiful temple sitting on top overlooking the misty forest.

Of course, living in Chiang Mai means tropical and hot weather but also rainy and stormy season. Although 2012 didn’t have as much rain as the previous years, I managed to capture my best lightning shot so far from my balcony. My wife knows by now that when there’s a storm coming over, I’m outside taking lightning photos.

Lightning apart, I also gathered an enormous collection of sunset shots from my balcony. Having a great view overlooking the city to the west, I managed to capture some great colors almost every evening and even thought about starting a different website showcasing only sunsets.

You may laugh at me but after 3 years in Chiang Mai, I’ve attended my first Muay Thai fight only last year just because a friend of ours was also fighting. I took about fifty shots that were all discarded except for this one. At least it made me realize I’m not interested in sports photography and would rather sit back and enjoy the game/fight.

2012 was also the year of low light photography. I had a great time running around with my tripod capturing all the monks with their candles during Buddhist festivals. Look out for more low key shots during this year!

Another big event during 2012 was the Foundry Photojournalism workshop that I attended in July. It was an amazing experience working with real talented photojournalists from around the world, networking with incredible photographers and trying to document the story I chose within 5 days which appeared to be quite challenging. My story was: “The Commercialization of Buddhism“.

Last year was also the first time in my life I’ve really experienced Fall season. I had the pleasure to capture the turning leaves and cooling temperatures on a short holiday to Kentucky in the US. It quickly became my favorite season.

And of course, let’s not forget the most beautiful festival that takes place every year in the North of Thailand: Yi Peng and Loy Krathong. This was my third time experiencing it here in Chiang Mai and even though last year was a little disappointing, it still is a magical moment to see all those thousands of lanterns fly together, carrying the wishes of thousands of Thai people gathered at Mae Jo.

And finally, if I had to choose my favorite shot of the year 2012, it would be this one with the monks at Wat Phan Tao, lighting up lanterns to release during Loy Krathong. This ended up also being my most popular image on various social media platforms.

Thank you for your support and I wish you all a wonderful year. Onwards and upwards!

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Happy New Year Daniel! I always enjoy looking at your photos and can’t wait to see more in 2013.

Daniel Nahabedian

Thank you very much Joya :)

Justin Lukasavige

Great photos! Just stumbled across the site and loving your shots. Actually on my way to Chian Mai for the first time tomorrow. Be in country for about 2 weeks.

Daniel Nahabedian

Thanks a lot Justin! Chiang Mai is a great city and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it :)


Me impresionó las fotos. Yo estoy muy orgullosa de ti mucho. Keep going!! Sigue tu corazon ->♥ Muy fuerte abrazo de Los Andes ;)


First time on your blog, great stunning photographs. I am just starting to learn photography. Like you I am interested in traveling, photography , food and learning languages. How do you learn a new language? is rosetta stone good enough to catch some. I am trying to learn french.

Danny Delnison

Amazing photos! Hope to see more photos of 2013 soon :)