Radim, you have been photographing for many years. How did it all start? Who brought you to take pictures or did you just find yourself there?
It started very simple. At my grammar school we did a school trip to Spain and my father lent me a camera (a normal compact camera) and gave me some black and white films. On the trip I discovered that I really enjoy photography and that it opens a new dimension in my life. I was not able to name it well at the time, but it´s about moments of concentration, discovering beauty where you would not otherwise look for it, and above all, about much more vigilance thanks to searching for beautiful shots. It is a certain analogy of listening, but through the use of seeing.
But back to my trip to Spain. After I came back, I was very pleased with my photos. My dad made an appointment with his friend Stanislav Tůma. He was a great photographer and taught me the basics of photography. He taught me to work with a SLR camera, to develop films, to enlarge photos, and also helped me choose my first SLR camera. Unfortunately, Standa does not live anymore. He was an excellent photographer and a very nice person.
Then many years have come, in which one could not meet me without my camera outside my home. When I am today thinking about the pile of photos I made, I would probably need one more life to look at them all. It is also a reflection for all who takes more pictures. I always enjoy it and I still do more pictures than it makes sense. But as I said, it is an exercise for me. Taking pictures in itself is fulfilling for me, even if nobody sees the photos anymore. But if a photo succeeds, I´m glad. And if I can share it with someone else, I´m even more happy...
In the middle of the grammar school I already knew that I want to study at FAMU. There I spent 6 years in a photography department. After that, I worked for the Czech Television for some time and then I began to work freelance where I am still now.
For Ahinsa shoes you made some videos and I have to say that they are great. How was your cooperation with Ahinsa shoes? And how can you manage everything from design through production to realization? Where do you get inspiration?
I worked wonderfully with Ahinsa shoes. I had enough space for my own creativity and the integration of the ideas of Ahinsa shoes and my ideas was completely natural. I wish there were more such clients.
And how can the whole process of realization be managed? First, I would say that everything is in God´s hands and one is only an instrument - sometimes better, sometimes worse, but always an instrument. And my main inspiration is mainly in surrender. For inspiration, I need peace, yoga, meditation... And for the development of such inspiration, I like talking to the people who are involved, that is to the clients.
Of course, other creators also inspire me, but in truth I don´t have time to follow anyone. Technically, there are many people who have taught me something, and I´m grateful to them. I will not name them because it would be too long a list.
Tell us something more about your job. What is the hardest part of your job for you, and vice versa, what do you absolutely love?
I don´t know if anything is the hardest. Maybe I would say „ the worst“. And that is when people do not suit each other and do not understand each other. I do not understand the clients who engage me but do not like my work and want it differently. It´s as if a man had chosen a woman who did not suit him and would try to change her. That follows what I like most: having the freedom to let ideas flow as they come, and having the freedom to realize the ideas as well. I am not so stiff as not to tolerate some corrections. The worst thing is the endless remodeling, in which mostly nothing remains from the original concept and the result makes no sense whatsoever. I have already experienced that and such work has brought me and my client only suffering. So I am glad that I could experience the best cooperation with Ahinsa shoes.
Thank you, for us it was also a pleasure to see you at work.
Are there any trends when making videos and photos? How do you keep track of what is most worn nad where do you think the development will go? The amateur videos and Instagram-style photos made by the professional team in the studio are very popular now. What do you think about it?
There are definitely trends there and in everything. I do not keep a track purposefully. I purposelly stay myself. Anyone who tries to be someone else is always just an imitation and that is never good enough. Everyone who is himself is extraordinary. It does not mean that someone is better than anyone else. One should discover who he really is - to refine his stone from a lump shape to a polished, shiny stone. Then it does not matter if it´s feldspar or damond. Both are amazing.
But back to the questions. Where is the development going? It is certain that everything trendy will pass away. That has always been the case. And what a craft is, that stays. Many clients bet on security and want a kind of standard and no extreme. There are many of them and in my opinion they will continue to be. The certainty is to do the craft well - whatever it is. Fashion is transient, and I do not care if I follow it or not. When my client says how ho wants it, he gets it. A good craftsman should strive to cope with everything. If I do not like something, it´s decadent formations when the ugly or perverted things turn out to be for art. And there is a lot of that right now. Well, in all branches of art there are a lot of beautiful things, but also a lot of forms that have been created by the artist mainly for their earnings (which does not mean that valuable things can not be created such a way). And then there are those decadent creations that would be better if they did not exist. I have already written in my diploma thesis on this topic so that artists become aware of what they are presenting. In my opinion, the artist has a great responsibility because what he presents affects the mental state of the people who are watching or listening (in the case of music). I mean, a highly negative work of art can cause mental damage to a person, and a positive work of art can elevate and enrich a person.
And to the wuestion of amateur videos. They are nothing new. They are simply one of the means of expression that has been used for a long time. About twelfe years ago, a director wanted me to do that, and I shot trembling footage. And it was used for a long time bevor.
And finaly something about you. I see you wear Ahinsa shoes. That pleases us. Why did you choose them and would you recommend them to someone else?
I do not know if I chose them or if they chose me. Alredy at grammar school, I have discovered some shoes with wide toe and I really liked them. There were only a few skater models of this kind and nothing else. When Ahinsa shoes appeared with wide toe, I exulted. At that time, I had no idea about brefoot shoes. I was one of the first customers and had almost all generations of Ahinsa shoes. I must say that Ahinsa shoes have gone through a tremendous development. The current quality of the workmanship is really great and their design is also very successful in my opinion. Personally, on Ahinsa shoes, I want to praise their design, the lightness, plenty of space for the toes (which also means comfort for me) and the quality of their workmanship (without prioritizing them in order). I got used to the space for my toes, so I had to write off other manufacturer´s shoes I had from earlier days, and I do not want to come back to the narrow shoes.
And if I would recommend Ahinsa shoes... Well, I don´t have to say that anymore. By the way, if I really enjoy something, then this is the opportunity to advertise a product that I really love. And in this case I can really enjoy the pleasure!
Radim, thank you very much for a very pleasant interview. It can be a great inspiration for many of us.
More information about Radim´s work can be found on his professional website.