Photographer Dmitri Kessel captured these fascinating portraits of an unknown Bangkok girl for LIFE magazine in the 1950s. Dimitri Kessel was a photojournalist and photographer for LIFE magazine. He was known for covering the war on the front line, including reports on the liberation of Europe and the Congo conflict.
Dmitri Kesselman was born in Kyiv into a family of sugar beet farmers and landowners Solomon and Sonja Kesselman. In 1923, he immigrated to the US via Romania (naturalized 1929) and settled in New York City, where he worked in the fur industry and Russian-language newspapers. In 1934, he attended Ben Magid Rabinovitch’s (1884–1964) School of Photography at night. During his photography training, the medium underwent rapid changes. Utilizing his industrial experience and contacts, he specialized in photography for factory owners. This led to his signing as a freelancer for Henry Luce’s Fortune in 1935, which assured his success as a photojournalist, with assignments to cover World War II starting in 1939. He joined LIFE as a staffer and war correspondent in 1944 and remained there until 1972.