To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are honoring 25 of the most iconic Lomographers in the community. We did some catching up with Willie Schumann, also known as Wil6ka, who is celebrating his 16th year in Lomography!
Name: Willie Schumann
Year when you joined Lomography: 2001
Let's do a backtrack: How did you discover Lomography?
In the summer of 2000, I worked at the world EXPO in Hannover. Through some twists and turns, I ended up living in a house with Orest, a true artist, singer, writer, photographer and overall weirdo. He had a Horizon and a LC-A and even had his work shown in galleries. I was quite young and already bored with ordinary 35mm SLR photography. So seeing the first Lomographs and him in action with his little black Lomo Kompakt Automat really blew my mind and hit a soft spot with me. I went to the Lomography embassy in Berlin, hang out with Joachim, the ambassador, and became a Lomographer. With time I understood, that this quirky world of personal expression and weirdness was just made for me and here I am many years later…
What was your first Lomography camera?
It had to be the classic LC-A, and there weren’t many other Lomographic cameras around in the early zero years. So I learned the whole trade, including repairing it with little screwdrivers. I am still pretty good at fixing mechanical cameras. Actually, I probably would have become a conservationist or archeologist of some kind, if I wouldn’t have fallen for storytelling.
What's your fondest Lomography moment?
It really comes down to the people of the Lomographic world. Wherever I go I try to hook up with the local Lomographers and have fallen in love with all of them. Also, the folks at the headquarters in Vienna became close friends over the years, working on books together and traveling with them and I am grateful for their support. To be seen with your photography and stories makes Lomography powerful for me. I was glad, that I could write a book for Lomography with “the caviar diaries – by Herr Willie” by doing what I love most, to go out in the world and to capture what I feel and see. I continue this journey with my column “The world according to Herr Willie”.
What does Lomography mean to you?
I think Lomography is a mindset – a love for life and everything old, new and colorful. So you might be a Lomographer, before you even touch film and a camera. Once you start that journey and explore all kinds of creative ways to take a picture, to tell a story, your world really opens up to a cosmos of expressions. I think being a Lomographer essentially made me a more interesting and welcoming man. And I think I am just at the start of it all…
Could you share some of your earliest Lomography shots?
What keeps you busy now?
I am a TV journalist and filmmaker. I tell visual stories from around the world, which are mainly broadcasted in Germany. I take analogue pictures while I am traveling and get into the zone of scanning my material at my lovely home in Hamburg.
Who were your Lomography friends back then?
At the old web page, you could have many followers and friends, but there were twelve super-friends. So you had to choose wisely and your affection had to be answered as well. Among my early friends were Carmen de Vos from Belgium, Ani and Mandi from Vienna, definitely Neja from St.Petersburg and Vicuna from Nizza, Topazy from Hong Kong, Bruna from Brazil and a few mores. All of them I still consider friends this list grew over the years.
What advice would you give new Lomographers?
Dedicate yourself to the world of analogue photography – All in or nothing. It’s a challenge and you don’t have to it all the time. But be patient, you will be rewarded with great moments, pictures and friendships when you stay true to Lomography. And on a practical side, get your hands on as much film as possible.
Some of our favorite shots by Wil6ka
Visit his LomoHome to see more.
As we celebrate 25 years of Lomography, we want you to be part of the unstoppable revolution. We’ve got heaps of exciting giveaways, parties, exhibitions and surprises, so don’t forget to stay updated on the official 25 Years of Lomography site and follow us on social media! Stay tuned for the latest updates on the most exciting must-have Lomo accessories!