Réhahn – Hoi An, Vietnam

French photographer Réhahn was born with the DNA of a travel and documentary photographer, but it wasn’t until 2007 that it begin to find its expression. During a mission trip with a nonprofit organization to Vietnam, Réhahn fell in love with the people, and began to spend more time exploring the Vietnamese culture through the lens. He made yearly trips making yearly until 2011 when he decided to give up his hectic life in France and relocate the family to Hoi An, Vietnam. It was time to follow his dream of becoming a professional photographer.

Réhahn with David Lazar in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Réhahn loves meeting people and spending time with t order to capture natural moments, whether candid, semi-posed or posed. And the world has responded to his style, which is simple and straight forward, using natural light and minimal processing. What is most important is the initial emotional response from the viewer, whatever the emotion might be. This response is the “hook” of the portraitist, and it’s at its best when the viewer is drawn in and begins to imagine the story behind the eyes and in the scene of the subject.

Within a few years the rambling photographer began to be recognized for his captivating portraits. He was published first by the Los Angeles Times, and then the Daily Mail, Foto Digital, CameraPixo, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic, Vogue and dozens of others came calling. While this was happening he soon became a sensation on social media, with over 300,000 fans on Facebook and tens of thousands more on other platforms.

Réhahn’s first photography book, “Vietnam – Mosaic of Contrasts”, a hefty coffee table book featuring 145 of his best images from around the country, has already sold more than 4,000 copies. In October 2015, following 5 solo exhibitions in 5 countries in 5 months, Réhahn was honored in the place of his birth with a huge exhibition in Normandy. He had come full circle in a relatively short period of time. In November that same year, he published his second coffee table book, “ Vietnam – Mosaic of Contrasts II ”.

On the 1st January 2017, Réhahn preserved a significant part of history by unveiling The Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum. This ancient French colonial house, which is situated in the UNESCO part of Hoi An, Vietnam, is the culmination of 5 years of his continued exploration of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. The 250m2 art space is home to more than 30 authentic traditional costumes, 200 photos, precious artifacts and stories translated in French, English and Vietnamese. The building itself is located in a tranquil part of town, away from the hustle and bustle, in what is known as the Old French Quarter. Admission is free.

As busy as he is, and while many photographers are on the reclusive side, Réhahn is very open with fans and fellow photographers alike. He’s happy to share his own approach and collaborate with others, always seeking new ideas and views to keep developing and growing as both a human being and an artist. And this is precisely why we were so happy when – for the first time ever – despite numerous requests – he decided to join our Vietnam photo tours when the group visits Hoi An. Participants learn a lot in a short time about how to work subjects, and also a fair bit about the business side of photography in this fast and ever changing ecosystem.