When we came across Sean’s Instagram, his style of photography had us hooked immediately; especially with his Café photography, he manages to create such atmospheric imagery capturing the perfect moment in some of his favorite coffee spots. But we wanted to find out more about Sean Dalton: how did he get to the other side of the world, living and photographing in Chiang Mai? We wanted to get to know more about the person behind the camera, who managed to impress us right away with his masterfully staged café images.

It’s one of those stories that start with a passion, but at the same time also a sad one because sometimes a passion can help you through hard times.

Sean was born and raised in San Jose, California and at the age of 12, when his father passed away, he felt stuck in a depression. Besides playing football, Sean was trying to get out, explore the outdoors and he started experimenting with his camera which helped him a lot at the time. When he went to college, he was still an active football player and earned some extra money on the side, as he started taking photos professionally. Sean always loved to travel, especially to destinations overseas and to Asia in particular. When he finished his masters in public health, Sean eventually moved to Chiang Mai to work for an NGO. However, somehow the nine to five got him and he decided to quit his job earlier than planned and started working as photographer full time.

The way to becoming an independent photographer in a foreign country

Sean finally saw an opportunity to pursue his lifelong passion of becoming a professional photographer and he finally took it. He started working in Chiang Mai and the rest Asia with a focus on portraiture, families, weddings, lifestyle and fashion shootings. Sean also loves to travel and document his trips and meeting other photographers. He is always improving his own artistic style. He realized that the more he posted to Instagram, the more opportunities came to him.

“I take pride in being very open, outgoing, and fun during my photo-shoots. The camera captures a moment in time, and I aim to make sure that moment is fun, authentic, and memorable.”
Sean Dalton | Source: seandalt.com

He discovered a vast café scene in his hometown Chiang Mai and throughout his travels around Asia and the rest of the globe. He was driven to capture the true essence of cafés in unique ways through the lens of his camera. Through posting his café stills on Instagram he connected with other photographers from Asia and discovered a whole community of inspiring coffee photographers.

Sean started to focus on café photography and managed to capture stunning images and tell visual stories about some the most stylish cafés; he ambitiously developed his style through shooting and editing consistently and created his own mesmerizing look which makes his photographs even more distinctive and appealing.

“Like many of us, I am drawn to the physical aesthetic. Using my camera to engage with a scene brings me to a world outside of the mundane, and allows me to see even the simplest of activities as utterly fascinating.”Sean Dalton | Source: seandalt.com

Sharing his knowledge is a great way to also reflect his own work

Sean always strives to share his own skills and his development which is very important to him. Spreading his knowledge also allows him to continue to reflect on his own personal style and making him a better photographer. He started his blog because he loved writing and documenting his travels and if you scroll through his Instagram, you can definitely see such a strong development in his work.

Everything he learns Sean also wants to share with his followers and through his Youtube Channel and Skillshare Videos there is a lot to learn from him. Sean offers Instagram tips, How to’s and he has also created some amazing Lightroom presets for every subject matter. With his confidence, his outgoing and open-minded personality, Sean has built an impressive career of his own and with his amazing talent to capture café moments, his following is rising steadily. Be sure to drop by and get lost in his Insta feed and visit his website to get to know more about him and his work.


*numbers current at the time of writing.

Copyright: All images are copyright protected and property of  Sean Dalton.