Sam Mohan : Interview with a Photographer

Sam Mohan might be considered one of the most versatile photographers among his peers. He has the intrinsic ability to switch rather smoothly between different genres of photography be it fashion or documentary, people or product, landscapes or architecture, and yet maintain his own individual style through it all. It is this ability that makes him a master of the art in his own right. His most exciting works showcase a play of light & color that makes the viewer transcend into the image itself. His images have a visual texture that borders around the surreal. It is seldom one can see this on everyday images.Sam Mohan’s images are beautiful because he sees them that way.

He has been signed up by Yellow Korner France for his work from the series ‘Killing the Stereotype’. This is being showcased in 85 galleries around Europe currently. He has been commissioned by The Times UK, Children’s Heart Link USA, Samvirke Magazine Denmark, Nature Magazine, UK and several other magazines across the country and globe to breathe life into some fascinating stories about people and places. He has also recently been invited by the town of Urk, Netherlands to do portraits of people from the beautiful fishing village. His commercial clientele include Puma, Nike, Lenovo, Aditya Birla Group, Titan Fastrack, Titan tanishq, Titan Sonata, BMW, Britannia, TVS, Pepsi, Sab Miller, Prestige Estates Pvt Ltd, Wildcraft, DHL, Bulchee to name a few. Sam Mohan lives and works out of Bangalore, India.

Why are you a photographer?
My dad was in the Indian army and every time he came back home on a holiday he would bring back pictures of all the places that he was posted at — which were far and beyond. It amazed me that there was such a different world out there. It sparked curiosity in me as a child. This world and different worlds like it had to be experienced and captured. Photography it seemed was the only way I knew how to.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt “I want to be a photographer”?
No real decisive moment frankly. As I was exploring photography in my early years, the camera increasingly became an extension of me. Slowly but surely it happened!

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Dr.John Kippin (HOD Photography, University of Sunderland), David LaChapelle, Eugenio Recuenco, Martin Parr, Sebastien Salgado, Sally Mann, Richard Billingham, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Satoshi Saikusa.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in photography?
Prabuddha DasGupta.

How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
Techniques have changed significantly over the last few decades with the advent of digital cameras. It is not limited anymore to the privileged few who had access to a dark room. That is a good and a bad thing in a way, nevertheless change is inevitable and this process of change in photography continues with the coming of age of phone cameras. The only difference might be the person behind the camera.
Art direction has always been a very important aspect in the making of an image. It has evolved over the years and continues to play an integral role.

What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
Photography in India is not at par with the work done worldwide. It is replicating the work done worldwide. For it to be at par it must look inwards and not outwards constantly. With the immense potential that India has to offer it must focus on the inside to achieve global standards.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from non-judgemental observation. By doing so I perceive everything to be beautiful. And beauty is inspiration.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
Many times! Everytime I am challenged to replicate something instead of creating original content.

Any current work in Indian Advertising that you find exciting? Especially Print?
The recent work I shot called DHL hands that won the Cannes Silver Lion 2015 for Grey Worldwide. The thought and concept was spectacular and the execution demanded simplicity combined with technical expertise. All in all an effective combination, always!

Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
Always a pleasure to dine with my wife.

Whats on your iPod?
Day Wave, Kater Mukke, Aleksey Verbitsky, Ninja Tune, Solomon, Jungle, We are all Astronauts and many more.

Mac or PC?

Whats your Twitter Handle?

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Sam can be reached via his personal website here.

His behance page –

3 thoughts on “Sam Mohan : Interview with a Photographer

  1. abhijit says:

    Hi Sam, great to read and know where you have reached today…proud of you dear…may god bless you with great success… regards to kalpana for being there always with you…hope to see you next time i come to b’galore..till !! abhijit bhaiya !!!

  2. Arvind says:

    I’ve known Sam for the last 5 years. He is phenomenal at bringing something original out of what is available at a location. The guerrilla shoots we have done over the years have been so much fun. Its sometime best to go out there without an idea in the mind and you can actually come up with something so original. Sam’s belief in Bangalore has kept him here doing some great work rather than following the rat race and shifting to Mumbai!

  3. Dilip says:

    Your idea of inspiration is inspiring.

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