Lia Bekyan is one of NYC’s finest creative individuals. She took the Lomo’Instant, a seemingly simple camera, and harnessed its capabilities to produce unique, out-of-the-box instant shots.
Describe yourself in 10 words:
I’m a dreamer. Always curious and restless, constantly in search of authenticity.
How and when did you start taking photographs? What are your favorite subjects?
I grew up in an artistic family and art, music and photography have always been subjects of my interest. Since I was four years old I’ve been trying different things to satisfy my urge to learn and create, from art and fashion design to digital media having photography in the background as a hobby.
It’s been a year— I had this turning point when I realized that photography is actually what satisfies me the most, a media through which I can better express the way I feel. Basically I quit all and focused only on photography.
I like to photograph people. It’s when the magic happens.
And what magic do you aim to capture with your photos?
I like to capture authentic moments, something that will communicate a true feeling when you look at the image, will it be spontaneous shots or planned shooting. Very often, while browsing through the images after I discover details that help to emphasize that feeling.
What was your experience with instant cameras before the Lomo’Instant?
I’ve been using Polaroid Supercolor 600 for some time.
What did you like about it? Were there any challenges?
I love the camera but I find the polaroid films very expensive, and the functions are limited.
How does the Lomo’Instant compare with other forms of instant format photography?
It’s a lot of fun to shoot with instant cameras even though some of them are not superb photographic tools. Lomo’Instant has some room for experiments compared to what I have been using previously. Double exposure for instance, which I like a lot.
In exploring different formats and processes of photography, be they analog or digital, instant or developed and enlarged, documentary or creative, what have you found taught you the most?
There is always possibilities for creativity no matter the format. I think the limitations you face working with different processes is what teach you the most. Each format has it’s challenges and unique outcome and there is a lot to explore yet.
Has the instant photography (or photography in general) influenced your outlook on images and art direction?
Yes, the more I experiment, the more I know when exactly I want to use a certain format/tool. For example I did my recent shoot working with a model where I used Canon 5D mark 3 as main camera and Lomo’Instant. Shooting almost simultaneously the outcome is very different. Instant images give me more like a backstage feeling, the intermission in between happenings where you need to act fast to catch it. It’s like the 3rd eye that sees something that is missed.
Do you have a favorite photograph, one that you took?
I love the intimate atmosphere in this picture. I think it translates well the unrestrained communication between the person being photographed and the photographer. Even the cat who hated to be photographed was finally relaxed here.