5 Questions, 15 Photos: Vijat Mohindra and the Art of Shooting Fame
If I told you just half of the people Vijat Mohindra has been paid to point his camera at, it would blow your goddamn mind. Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Lydia Hearst, Nicki Minaj: Think of the most outrageous and fabulous photos you have ever seen of these people, the iconic images deeply burned into the convolutions of your brain, and you will begin to form a picture of who Vijat Mohindra is.
Now take that visualized conception and turn it inside out.
Vijat Mohindra's work goes far further than what meets your mind's eye in his astounding celebrity and editorial photography. Like, for starters, delve into his Other Pictures.
The Kind: How do you establish trust with the people you photograph?
Vijat Mohindra: Trust definitely plays a part in the photographic process, and I was very lucky to have started photographing subjects who were actually friends; so there was an amount of trust that was already there. After I shot out a few good ideas with people who trusted and believed in me, then more and more people started to notice. At that point, it became easier for others to see that they will get great photographs, and to want to work together.
The Kind: What is the key to bringing creativity to formal portraits?
Vijat Mohindra: Creativity is another essential part of the photographic medium, but one that is quite often overlooked by so many. I think bringing creativity to portraits starts with training your brain to see the world in a way that not everyone sees it. For example, when I see a dinner plate, I don't just see a plate; I see a hat, a necklace, an entire outfit, a background, and so many other things that it has the potential to be in a photograph. I like to visualize the full potential of everything I come across, and really think of everything from a photographic perspective.
The Kind: Why photography?
Vijat Mohindra: Photography has been my true love since I can remember—it's my passion, my love, my life, my lifestyle. There is nothing that even comes close to it for me. It's my purpose for living and favorite thing in the world. It's given me everything I have, and never done anything but good for me. I love photography in every way. I wouldn't be me without it.
The Kind: What are some of your favorite expectations to shatter?
Vijat Mohindra: My favorite thing photographically is to portray well-known subjects in a way that has never been seen before. I love when I am told that I made someone look unrecognizable, because it's a new way to perceive something we see all the time. I think it's refreshing to see the same thing from a different perspective.
The Kind: What's the allure of shooting nonhuman objects (as in The Other Pictures)?
Vijat Mohindra: I started The Other Pictures as a little glimpse into my day-to-day life. For this ongoing project, I use the same flash that paparazzi's use when photographing celebrities. I turned that specific light that we associate so much with such fame onto totally ordinary people, places, and things. I think it's really interesting to see the mundane in the lime light, so to speak.