10 quick questions, 5 professional and 5 random, with people you should know.
The neo-pop celebrity photographer Vijat Mohindra, was born in Ohio, grew up in Chicago, and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to pursue photography. With a singular and driven focus in photography his entire life, he graduated Art Center College of Design already having defined his ultra modernist and hyper synthetic aesthetic. The dazzling anti-vérité style of his work has attracted celebrity clientele such as Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Selena Gomez among others.
Q. Why this? You could have done anything, what pulled you to this profession/industry?
VM. When I was pretty young I was attracted to photography after looking at a portfolio of black and white photographs that my mother had created when she was in design school in the 70’s. The images have stuck with me ever since and I knew I wanted to create images that would inspire others in such a way. My life goal has always been to inspire others whether creatively or otherwise. I love the positive energy that comes with inspiration and I think photography is the perfect vessel for creativity and inspiration.
Q. What is the oldest technology device you own? Do you still use it?
VM. I collect vintage TV’s and Record players and actually use both pretty often.
Q. Favorite City/Place in the world?
VM. Los Angeles by far!
Q. Last piece of art (physical, image, architecture, music… anything) that moved you. What was it? Your reaction? Were you surprised?
VM. The last thing that really moved me at the risk of sounding like a technology obsessed millennial, was and is currently Instagram. I really think this visual platform is one of the best things that could have happened for photographers in the history of photography. Instagram provides a place for young photographers to really share their work with not only their network but the entire world. You never know who is looking at your work on Instagram. From artists, to celebrities, to corporations, having your work up on Instagram opens up the possibility to be discovered at any moment and the ability for young photographer’s careers to take off at any moment which is such an amazing thing. Also Instagram has an infinite supply of visual inspiration all in one place, like never before you can see visual art on every level from personal images taken by famous photographers to collages to photography portfolios of those who would otherwise have never showcased their work to an online audience- there is so much to gain from Instagram it’s easy to see how moving it is not only for me but all levels of photographers.
Q. Best advice, personal or professional, you’ve ever gotten? What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to have your career?
VM. I think the best professional piece of advice I ever received was when I was studying photography in collage. One of my professors told me that to be successful you just have to shoot what you love and success is inevitable. I believe this to be profoundly true and can see that it actually works as I look at the way my career has unfolded. No one can put the amount of drive and passion into photographing something that they do no truly love as it takes to be successful.
Q. Last thing you took a photo of?
VM. Miley Cyrus
Q. Has social media helped or hurt our society?
VM. A case could be made both ways, but I believe it has helped in many ways.
Q. What/who has been your biggest influence?
VM. My biggest influences through my life have been 2 incredible photographers; David Lachapelle and Miles Aldrige. I look up to these photographers in so many more ways than my obsession with their actual photography. I believe they have something not many photographers have in that they are able to constantly create work that looks completely like their point of view and vision without being watered down or skewed by commercial influence. I also love that they understand and really showcase beauty on every level there is, not just on the preconceived and commercialized ideas of beauty, something that seems many photographers are afraid of.
Q. When did you first consider yourself an adult?
VM. On my 30th birthday last year.
Q. What do you love about your job and your work?
VM. Every single possible thing about photography is what I love about my job. I really don’t think of it as my job, it’s literally my lifestyle almost every thought I have is consumed by photography- It really is my dream come true. From the people and friends I have made to the places around the world I have traveled and to the sense of wellbeing and accomplishment I have received from being a photographer, I owe everything in my life to photography. It’s my love, it’s my passion it’s my favorite thing in the entire world- every single bit of it.