MARK PAULDA'S STORY
I’ve always been involved in the creative world.
As a young entrepreneur, I created a handmade product that ended up on the cover of a Neiman Marcus catalogue. Me? Really? It was all very exciting until it came time to actually hand make over ten thousand topiaries. I’m pleased to say – “mission accomplished,” tho’ never again. After that, I became the main party guy in my city. No, I wasn’t on the party scene, but instead, I planned, created, produced and co-ordinated high-end events mostly for the “ladies who lunch,” but also corporately.
It was nice to be told how talented I am. The truth is there is little satisfaction in being praised over and over for the same thing. So, I set my sights higher. I wanted to work with the Olympic Games. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I didn’t let this stop me from pursuing my goal. I did indeed work with the Games organizing and hosting corporate sponsors. The Olympics are the biggest party in the world. When it was time to move on, there wasn’t anywhere for me to go unless I wanted to go back to where I began. I didn’t like the idea though I knew I would work in a creative field.
I chose photography. I’ve always had a camera in my hands except I knew very little about photography besides a camera’s automatic mode. I knew I couldn’t sit in a classroom again. I have a degree in education and a degree in marketing from the University of Texas and University of London.
So, I decided to search London photographers online. When I found three photographers I liked, and whose work I admired, I emailed them and asked if I could work with them. Surprisingly, they all said yes. In the end, I only mentored with two of the photographers – an Israeli landscape photographer and a photographer whose work you’ve seen on many famous Rock ‘n Roll album covers. The mentoring experience was one-on-one and the best education I could have received. I also had the luxury of practising what I learned all day, every day, which boosted my skills and confidence.
I grew up as one of the few Americans in Tripoli, Libya and my parents urged me to fill my passport at a young age. It’s possible I knew the rest of the world before knowing America.
Today, I travel the world and immerse myself in fascinating cultures foreign to my own with complete comfort. Travel feeds my soul like nothing else can. I’ve married travel and photography and love every minute of both.
I’ve walked over 120 miles with a Berber nomadic tribe in North Africa into the Sahara Desert; had my head high in the clouds in the Himalaya Mountains in Bhutan; talked my way backstage to the largest Tango Show in Buenos Aires, Argentina (without knowing Spanish); and have literally hung out of an airplane over the great White Sand Dunes of New Mexico.
Helping others is instilled in me. It is the right thing to do. Currently, I’m helping a young man in Bali achieve his lofty goal of preserving Balinese culture and we are doing this through photography, video, music and writing. Gede is his name and his talent is mind-blowing. You can read more about Bali and the project throughout my blog. The project is funded through sales of my travel photography at markpaulda.com; there are no sponsors.
On the business side of photography, video and content creation, I treat it as such – a business. My business philosophy with regard to clients is clear: Offer superb service, exceed expectations and help make my clients shine brighter than everyone else. When a client puts their trust in me, I do everything possible to fulfil their needs and requests beyond the requirements.
My images have been seen in magazines across the world; a book publisher put their faith in me and I have a variety of books released – two of which are best sellers and the publisher’s fastest selling books; my work on “Recollections” by Asia Featuring John Payne received a Grammy nomination for Best Album Art; I co-hosted former First Lady Laura Bush’s visit to El Paso, Texas; a reputable art company represents my images; there is a huge product line of journals with my images gracing the covers; and my travel blog ranks anywhere from number one to number three on the first page of Google in a variety of search terms.
If I can inspire you to travel, grow more than you ever thought possible and experience cultures foreign to your own with an open mind, my mission with this blog is accomplished. Share your experiences with me. I’m completely accessible and love to hear good stories.
I think big and creatively and my inspiration comes from serendipitous sources. If you are a brand and would like to discuss using my creative skills and influence, please contact me. Let’s start a conversation. I love connecting brands and cultures around the globe.
LET'S BE AWESOME TOGETHER
I love getting to know people around the world. Many of my best friends and even great loves are people whom I met when they emailed to introduce themselves.
Yes, it’s really me, not an assistant, and I reply to all.