Interview with the Photographer - George Mann

Tasting the food, while doing photography of the Khmer Royal Cuisine, Raffles Grand Hotel d’ Angkor

Timeline and work history of George Mann

Professional name - George Mann

Legal name (in USA) - George Frederick Lienemann

Birth name (Germany) - Georg Friederich Lienemann

Born - Oldenburg, Germany - June 5, 1948

Immigrated to - Tuxedo Park, New York, USA - January 13, 1958

First trip to West Coast - Santa Barbara, California - January, 1968

Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara - 1968 and 1969

Assistant & Freelance Photographer - Los Angeles - 1970 to 1978
Playboy Studios West, Chrysalis Records, various agencies and magazines

First trip to South East Asia - Bangkok, Thailand - April 13, 1978
Founded Lensman Studio, commercial and fashion photography for Bangkok Advertising Agencies

Captured by Vietnamese troops in Cambodia - June 26, 1980 (released on Thai border 4 days later)
At the time we were working on a UNHCR project on displaced persons on all the borders of Thailand

Commercial Photographer in Los Angeles - 1982 to 1985
ABC Entertainment, various Glamour magazines

Founder and Managing Director of A-3 CompuPrint - Bangkok, Thailand - 1986 to 2003
One of the first companies in the world to combine Macintosh computers and Linotronic laser typesetters.
We changed the Advertising and Publishing industries in Thailand and for a time had all of them for clients.
During this period I still took on photography jobs, but became better known as an electronic publishing expert.
In the 1990s we also took on a lot of large scale multi-media projects for the international advertising agencies.
With the advent of the internet we started building web sites for various commercial clients.

George Mann Photo - Freelance Photographer - South East Asia - 2004 to the Present
It’s not that I ever stopped being a photographer, but I am once again committed 100% to the Art of Photography.
My next goal is to set up Major Art Gallery Exhibitions of my images in Asia, USA and Europe.

Where do I live? - For the last couple of years I lived in Seattle, Washington, just before Seattle I lived in Siem Reap, Cambodia for several years, for the last four months I have been living in Chiang Rai, Thailand, by the beginning of 2014 I expect to be living in Siem Reap, Cambodia again. I am sort of a Nomad who travels very slowly.

Interview with the Photographer

Warning: grumpy old photographer on board, better to get off the bus now, if you don’t have a sense of humour.

Question 1 - Some people consider you to be the most expensive tour guide in South East Asia, is that a fair assessment?

George Mann - No not really, I am actually not a tour guide. I am a photographer with over 30 years of experience in South East Asia. I charge what I consider to be a fair amount of money for my valuable time. I will hire tour guides, drivers and vehicles for you as part of my service, but my fee is for my personal services as a travel advisor, photographer and teacher of my personal photographic technique (both in the field and on the computer).

Question 2 - What do you charge for your personal photographic tour & workshop services?

George Mann - I charge a flat fee of $500 per day for one person, plus $100 per additional person (maximum 5 persons), plus all travel & tour related expenses (including my own). Occasionally people ask me about special prices for (non-photographer) wives, girlfriends and children. My first impulse is to charge double, but I like to be fair so the rate is the same.

Question 3 - What do you mean by travel & tour related expenses?

George Mann - Travel and tour expenses are mainly transportation, lodging and food, but also include entrance fees to state and privately owned parks and attractions, local tour guides, balloon, helicopter or ultra-light airplane rides, boat rides on lakes or rivers, etc. I will of course have to plan a budget with the client, but not until they have agreed to hire my services and paid my advance fee. Too many “potential clients” have wasted my time planning out itineraries for them and then told me that a friend or relative has found them a better deal.

Question 4 - Why can’t you quote a complete package price? Other tour companies have package tours.

George Mann - First I would like to remind anyone who is considering my services that I am not a tour company. Every component of a great travel photography experience, whether it is a vehicle and driver, tour guide, restaurants, hotels, etc., is available at many levels of price and quality. I strive to supply only the highest quality experiences available for my clients and that can not be put into a neat, tidy and economical package.

Question 5 - Who would you imagine is the ideal client for your services?

George Mann - That is an easy question to answer. I want the client who walks into a Ferrari dealership and says, “I want the red one in the window, let’s go do the paperwork”. The client who walks into the dealership and says, “How much is the red one in the window?” is the wrong client for me. I am joking of course, but it isn’t far from the truth. I know how to take care of people who can afford to fly first class and have the means to stay in five-star hotels. Personally I am a pretty casual person and don’t mind camping out, or sleeping on a bare floor (especially if the floor is made of old teak wood), but I grew up surrounded by very wealthy people (Tuxedo Park, New York), international socialites and movie stars. My teenage weekends were often spent going to car races with the American Ferrari team at Bridgehampton and Watkins Glenn, or flying around the North-East in my father’s Cessna. US President Harry Truman often stayed just down the road at his daughter’s house. I went to John F. Kennedy’s funeral with my father and stood among the world leaders. Robert Duval, James Whitmore and Richard Kiley (and their kids) were all neighbours and friends. When I came back to Los Angeles after being released by the Vietnamese troops in Cambodia, ABC would tell the producers to send me in with difficult actors, because I was a combat photographer and would not be afraid or in awe of them. OK, I have to admit that a 23 year old Heather Locklear left me completely speechless and paralysed, but otherwise I was able to handle the Hollywood crowd with no problems. So if you are rich and famous, or just want the best service available, please call on me, I understand your needs and I can provide you with the kind of experience in South East Asia, that you deserve to have.

Question 6 - Are you available for Photography Assignments?

George Mann - Yes I am available for Commercial & Editorial Photography Assignments:
1. Editorial Assignments - $500 to $1000 per day, plus all travel expenses.
2. Available Light Commercial Assignments - $1000 per day, plus all travel expenses.
3. Studio Lighting (on location) Assignments - $2000 per day, plus all travel expenses.
4. Wedding Photography at Angkor Temples - $10,000 for three days, plus all travel expenses (I don't like shooting weddings).

Please contact George Mann for more information -