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  Age on Sunday   26 Nov 2017  The eye of stillness

The eye of stillness

THE ASIAN AGE. | SURUCHI KAPUR GOMES
Published : Nov 26, 2017, 12:27 am IST
Updated : Nov 26, 2017, 12:27 am IST

For Canadian photographer Martin Prihoda, who calls Goa home, his creativity is more than artistry. it is closely linked with yoga and meditation.

Prihoda might have worked with the best names, garnered acclaim for his flawless captures, yet he is down-to-earth.
 Prihoda might have worked with the best names, garnered acclaim for his flawless captures, yet he is down-to-earth.

Yoga and spirituality live and breathe through Martin Prihoda’s uncanny eye. It’s surreal how his career as a photographer skyrocketed when he and his wife Tonia Clarke decided to take a hiatus from Canada to travel to India in 2009. At the foundation of his camera lies a spirituality and captivating stillness, “My creative process is linked with my yoga and meditation. For me, creativity is more than just art, it’s about everyday choices in our lives; breaking down conditioned behaviour so we can make better, more aware decisions. This has had an incredible influence not only in my work but my life too. It helps guide my photography,” says the Canadian from Vancouver, who incidentally met his wife at a yoga class. Rummage through the action-imbuing stylish clicks he is known for, a stark image almost jumps out at you.

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Prihoda might have worked with the best names, garnered acclaim for his flawless captures, yet he is down-to-earth. He won the photographer of the year in 2012 by the Asian Photography magazine, and his portfolio has graced Vogue, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, etc. Yet, as a typical creative meanderer, Prihoda feels his work is an extension of his search for uplifting moments. “I came to India in 2009, it was at the height of the financial crash. My wife and I wanted to explore India for its yoga. Within three months of networking, I had many projects — a GQ cover, did work for Priyanka Chopra’s website, that snowballed into innumerable projects,” Prihoda recalls.

Priyanka Chopraold

His most memorable photograph so far, given the sheer gamut of his celebrity ridden show reel, was right at the beginning, “It was my first cover shot for GQ India with Hrithik Roshan. I felt I was thrown into a soup. I had only been in India a few months, and was nervous and excited. I had to Google who Hrithik Roshan was as I had no idea! The shoot was an incredible learning experience and it’s still one of my favourites. Hrithik was a little hesitant as he was working with a new photographer, and my lighting style was new to him. Overall, we worked well together. It was also memorable as one of my first-ever goals starting out was to shoot a cover for GQ and now there it was, published and sitting on my desk,” recalls Martin whose creative cauldron is brimming, PeeCee, Donald Trump, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Salman Khan, intuitive shots at the Pushkar Mela, etc all on www.martinprihoda.com.

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He also has a charitable and social side — working with NGOs, charcoal factory workers in Dubai, Child Reach, with SOS Children’s Villages in Nepal… he is always searching for a muse.

Martin lives in Goa with his wife and two children. And Red Earth Productions is seaming with a robust body of work. “I am doing a photo-journal as I love human interest photography,” he says, which is evident in the starkness and almost multi-dimensional essence to his photographs, “more dramatic, with camera and strobe lighting and an in-depth focus on the subject,” he explains.

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While he practices Akhanda Yoga, his wife Tonia teaches Vinyasa and Kundalini. “I want to keep the consciousness of the human race elevated with my work,” he jests, half-serious, half-joking.

Martin is working on Desolation Series, a personal project. In today’s smart photographer scenario, he feels artistry needs to be honed, “Everybody can write a letter, but they are all not J.D. Salingers or Hemingways, creativity is developing a style and vision.” A skiing vacay for Xmas, and summers in Canada’s outdoors is what the Prihoda family love. With lots of clicks, of course.

Tags: meditation, yoga, martin prihoda