Archive for August, 2010

Vogue India: September 2010, The New Indian Aesthetic

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2010 by martinprihoda

Art Director: Brendan Allthorpe

Photo editor: Iona Fergusson
Stylist: Petal Deas
Hair/Makeup: Namrata Soni
Production: Anusha Lalwani
Location: Project 88, Colaba Mumbai
Photographer: Martin Prihoda


back from Jaipur, Rajasthan

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2010 by martinprihoda

Just got back from Jaipur yesterday after shooting for my clients (now friends) at Anokhi. One of the great things about shooting out and about the countryside is the opportunity to grab a few portraits of the many great faces of this colorful part of India. I must say that Rajasthan could very well be the most photogenic state in the country.

Tonia and Jai came up with me and it was wonderful to again stay with Pritam, Rachel (and daughters) on their organic farm just outside Jaipur city. Now its back to work in the craziness of Mumbai!

Next trip is early september to Gujurat to shoot for the UK based NGO, Childreach.

Comparison is the thief of joy

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2010 by martinprihoda

One needn’t look far for the signs of a world in violent distress. Its the 21st century and wars still plague us, the disproportionate allocation of wealth away from the 3rd world is mind boggling, our celebrity role models tend towards the gossipy un-evolved alcoholic type, women are still be persecuted for being women and the rate at which we’re damaging this planet is truly staggering. 
Here’s the thing: All the violence we witness in the world is simply an extension of the violence we all carry around in ourselves. Its absolutely impossible to commit violence if you have purged yourself of the anger, jealousy and insecurity that you harbor within.
Most of us take pride in our peaceful interaction with the world but inside there maybe a raging river of violent discontent. Society has conditioned us to believe that lashing out is wrong, so instead we ‘lash inwards’
As photographers (or any other artist) we often fall into the mother of all violent ‘inner-traps:’ Comparison
Comparison leads to envy and envy leads to hate and hate leads to…the dark side. 
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
The artistic dark side is a swirling mess of apathetic narcissism which seeks only to perpetuate its own misery. Its the part of us that loves it when others fail and that revels in the smug satisfaction of being judged ‘better’ than someone. Its the small insecure shadow self that lives in perpetual fear of failure and being found out as a fraud. It paralyzes us with doubt.
In a nutshell…its the source of the violence within us.
The solution is simple awareness. Awareness is like a flashlight that illuminates our dark side, bringing our shadow to light. Awareness heals the divide that splits us and causes pain.
In the Yogic tradition they teach awareness through Breath, by becoming aware of your breath you begin to open up that tight space within, loosening the vice grip. Soon, your awareness transfers to your thinking and before long you are able to positively influence your thought process and from there, well….your world absolutely transforms.
If you find yourself comparing simply take a breath and know that each person’s success is really your success. Each brilliant photographers’ work that you see simply means that your own genius is possible. Maybe you’ll find that another’s failing is your opportunity to teach and heal. 
Whatever your religious or spiritual or artistic outlook may be, I can’t think of a better goal than one’s own Wholeness. The fact is that if we are to heal this world, we must first heal ourselves…its the only way. 
as Gandhi famously said…’we must be the Change we want to see in the world.”

The Path to Mastery

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 by martinprihoda

In his his book “Mastery: The keys to Success and Long Term FullfilmentGeorge Leonard makes a compelling argument for how we acquire and eventually master any given skill.

I have found his insight has a direct correlation to my own experience with photography. Take a look at the graph below:
Leonard argues that the path of mastery is not linear or as smooth a sloping process as one might think.
If you take a look at the above graph you’ll notice that the path to mastery is full of exponential growth, slow downs and flat out plateaus. 
Its human nature to become addicted to the exponential growth part of the learning, we’re just progress orientated creatures. I remember some of these phases of my life as rapid acceleration of skill where I was pumping out beautiful photo after beautiful photo, adapting new lighting techniques faster than my school could teach them. Later there were phases where the phone wouldn’t stop ringing, client after client calling as if the universe had opened a wormhole of abundance into my career and life.
…and then there were the plateaus; boredom, doubt, getting tired of the same one light setups, thinking if I had to shoot one more headshot portfolio I would die. Seeing other successful photographers do work that I wanted to be doing but having no idea how to get there…and of course the droughts that had me wondering how I was going to pay next months rent.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that the plateaus are actually a germination period for the next quantum leap. In every one of those ‘boring’ headshot shoots was a burgeoning seed of my next ‘a-ha’ moment. 
The plateaus are pure potentiality, the exciting growth we experience is the manifestation of that potential. 
To preserve your sanity, inspiration and faith during the ‘plateau’ times takes Herculean effort, simply because around this time everything will start to conspire to create doubt around your passion. This is simply the way the universe tests us and it is the reason why there are far few masters than there are hacks. The truth is simple: Most people will give up.
Take another look at the Mastery curve and know that you are on it somewhere; whether you’re a photographer, parent, writer or astrophysicist. Some parts are fun, some are not but whatever your position, know that mastery of your craft is not a destination but a commitment to a life long learning process. 
Commit to Mastery.