Ike Levy is a fellow citizen from São Paulo who started to take photographs quite by chance and today he no longer lives without a camera in his bag. With his analogue toys he registers the family, trips, friends, landscapes and whatever crosses his way. Meet this photographer who has the lomographic feeling in his DNA.
To start, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do? What are your interests, hobbies, etc..
My name is Ike Levy, I born in São Paulo in 1975. I love Harley-Davidson Bikes and Kombis. I’m a photographer and father of Nina. I also write about photography for Bico Fino website. Nowadays I shoot a lot of CD’s covers, actresses, top models and families.
How did your relationship with photography start? And who or what influenced you to start a carrer in this field?
I always loved photography. My first camera my father gave me when I was a little kid, I was only five years old. Several years later….I received an invitation to shoot a Formula Indy Race when I was living in Miami. The photos I did were used by the pilot Raul Boesel. I acepted the challenge and after this Raul himself hired me for another job.
Then I had the opportunity to visit and produce photos in France, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Tanzania and many other countries…When I returned to Brazil I opened the Ike Levy Photo Gallery where I sell some of my photos and memories.
How long have you been a Lomographer and how did you discover the community?
I bought my first Fisheye in London eight years ago, I think. Only after shooting my first roll of film I discovered the power of the Lomographic Society around the world. I saw all the types of cameras and accessories and I became addicted.
What was your first analogue camera and how many do you have now?
The first one Santa Claus (my father) gave to me. Later when I was older, it was a Canon that my mom found forgotten in a park bench in the south of France. She tried to find the owner, but was not successful. So she gave it to me and I started my career with it. For several years I only used this Canon but with time I bought other lenses, flashes, etc.
Today I have twenty analogue cameras. Seventeen are from Lomography.
I know that this is a difficulty question, but if you had to choose one of the photos displayed here, what would be your favorite and why?
This a VERY difficult question, but let’s try… I really like a B&W Photo that I made in Paris. I used a Fisheye and the image has an interesting depth of view. The shadows of the trees are also beautiful. Another one that I love is one with my wife Luciana pregnant, which we also took in Paris. She was wearing a pink t-shirt and the sky was very blue. It was a moment with a lot of happiness that I will never forget.
People who know you or read your blog at Bico Fino, notice that you always take a camera everywhere you go. This includes weekends escapades, family trips, etc. Do you have any interesting facts or funny stories that came from this habit?
I try to walk with my bag of cameras even on regular days. Some people asked me once if the Lomo cameras are my 3 year-old daugther’s. (laughs)
And what’s the reason for your obsession with Kombis? Where does this mania come from? Do you have a photography project related to this?
I have to admit that I really love Kombi’s. But there’s no particular reason. I think it’s a charming car. I had one model from the 70’s that I used during my wedding. A lot of people asked me, in traffic, if I wanted to sell it. Until the day I received a very good deal and sold it. But I’m looking for another one and I have an interesting project for this car, but it’s secret.
Let’s Talk again about what inspires and influences you. Who are the photographers and/or artists that you admire and use as an inspiration to make your work?
I like the phrase from the grand photgrapher Ansel Adams:
We don’t make a photograph just with a camera, we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard, the people we have loved.
To finish, would you like to leave a message for the Lomography Community?
I’m a big supporter of the Lomographic Lifestyle. It’s great to chose a film, a good emulsion, take the photos and wait for the development. But better than that is to look through the results and share them with people you like.
Once I saw an interview with the War Photographer Don McCullin when the journalist asked: What do you have to say for a new generation of photographers that want to cover wars? He answered, “I’m doomed to my own images. Don’t shoot war, shoot Peace.” This impressed me a lot and served as a lesson.