8 Questions to Mark Pillai

What is your background and how did you end up doing what you are doing today? 

I have to admit that I always was fascinated by this technical miracle capturing a moment of our life and seeing it projected on a wall or appearing magically on a print in the darkroom.

Well, times have changed and digital photographs can instantly be viewed on the back of the cameras. A good thing I assume. I don’t care so much about the technical side anymore. I focus only on what’s happening in front of the camera and eventually check rapidly after if, for example, the exposure was correct. Going through the shoot still has its surprises though – almost like when shooting on film.

I have assisted other Photographers for many years and traveled a bit through the world - shooting catalogs for mail-order-houses, advertising campaigns for cars or editorials for sports & health magazines. But rarely fashion – (un)fortunately ! I guess that’s why I had to leave Germany.

Becoming a fashion photographer was not because of the fashion but what it allows you to do with it. Transforming and directing the models how to pose in front of the camera is only a part of many others that I love. And so you can see at my current exhibition at Pavlovs Dog, the process of the casting is another major aspect of my work that I enjoy.

What is your motivation?

Good question! I don’t know anything else I’m good at! Not saying I’m a good photographer – it just happens to work out for me – at least for the moment! And what else can be more exciting in photography than shooting women and experiencing the aesthetics of the female body!?

Who would you like to work with?

I still ask myself how it would feel to photograph a blind person. Would it be like with kids that don’t have this self-perception like models do…? And how would I feel about the fact that they would never see the result of their effort?

What is your favorite subject in your photography?

See answer to question no.2

If your weren´t a Photographer, what else would you be?

I grew up in the country side in the south of Germany. As kids we spent most of time outside on the fields or in the forests. Before taking it more seriously with photography I thougt I should do something considered ecological, following an ideal.

What is your favorite place to be?

Behind my camera! Best place to hide and to observe! Feels sometimes like wearing a magic mask that allows you to do things you wouldn’t dare with out it!

What does a typical Sunday morning look like for you?

Sunday, Monday or Friday is all kind of the same. Except that most people don´t work on the weekends, so I don´t have to stick to anyone´s schedule. that’s why I enjoy the weekend more – there isn’t any rush!

If you were a color, what color would it be and why?

I reckon it would be something simple, subtle. Look at the colour of my skin, I would probably be just that colour. But to be honest, I find it quite a difficult to point out a color. I´m kind of scared of colours, and if you look around my place, there´s hardly any colour that jumps out. 60% grey is a bit boring, but I reckon that might do the job…