If you've been regularly visiting the Photos section of this website, chances are you've seen (and liked!) some photographs taken by Stéphane Heinz (@vicuna) Gérard Heinz (@gheinz), two of Lomography community's pioneers. They are brothers, and Gérard credits his introduction to film photography to Stéphane, who gave him a Lomo LC-A+ camera to start with. "Just at the same time, I bought my first camera, a Minolta X-700. Since this time, it has become a very crazy passion."
It was also through Stéphane's LomoHome that he discovered Lomography, and made his own LomoHome account 10 years ago. "After jumping into photography, it was natural for me to join the Community. I love the rules of Lomography, the possibility to feel free to take photos like each one wants to do them, and to discover so many other beautiful and incredible shots."
The love for film photography did not end with Gérard—his children, Margot (@lomomargot) and Martin (@martingraphy) followed suit. Uncle Stéphane gave them a Lomo'Instant and a Fisheye camera. Since then, the Heinz family has proudly declared, "Analogue is a family passion!"
The Dad: Gérard Heinz
Hi, Gérard. Lockdown has limited our activities lately, what's keeping you busy despite the limitations?
The successive lockdowns were painful, but it was not difficult to take refuge on the contrary in the photo. These completely new moments gave me the impression of suspended time, which had to be printed on film at all costs. So I only found the motivation to take pictures, and also to acquire new cameras.
Over the years of doing film photography, how has your visual style evolved?
I am not sure that my style has evolved, it is more the control that has changed, even if it is still very imperfect in my eyes. I really enjoy taking pictures of flowers, landscapes, natural surroundings, but I still cannot effectively take portraits or photograph people posing. It is undoubtedly in this direction that I wish to evolve in the coming years.
You and your kids are into analogue photography. Do you share cameras with your kids? What cameras do they enjoy using?
No, we don't really interchange our cameras. My brother Stéphane gave my two children some cameras. A Fisheye for my son Martin, and a Lomo'Instant for my daughter Margot. Then I gave my Praktica BMS to Margot because she wanted to take more elaborate photos. We remain attached to our devices. For my part, I did two experiments with the Lomo'Instant and the Fisheye, but just out of curiosity. Margot then had a second gift from her uncle, a Chinon Bellami, which she also uses quite a bit.
What photo tips and techniques do you share with your kids?
When we travel, whether on vacation or on weekends, we have fun taking quite similar photos. I give advice on the brightness, the opening times, except when my brother is there, I then give way to the absolute specialist, and I bow to his absolutely incredible knowledge.
How important is photography in your family?
Photography has always played a fundamental role. My paternal grandfather was already taking many photos with his Rolleiflex in the 1930s. This camera was later picked up by my mother, who took loads of photos throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and the albums permeated our visual memories, me and my brother. At the end of the 1990s, my brother took up the torch, with undeniable brilliance. It is an approach that I have always found fascinating, even if for a long time I refused to take it because I did not want to be intrusive in my brother's domain. But it was he who encouraged me, and even if I am far from his technique and his mastery, I take immense pleasure in taking pictures.
Among your brother's many, many film photos--which ones do you like best? Ones that you remember vividly?
Very difficult to choose among the many photos of my brother, who also has an acute concern for aesthetics, which explains why all his photos are marvels. But I will choose 4, which I find extraordinary.
1. This photo is emblematic for me to illustrate the Polynesian period of my brother. Perfect photo, it returns something that is only understandable in the intimate bond that my brother managed to build with this territory at the end of the world, where he stayed for 4 years. We had the chance to visit him in 2011 and to discover a little of this paradise on earth.
2. This photo is fundamental for me. It was reproduced very large on wood, and it hangs in my office. It is a photo that allows us with my brother to mark our deep attachment to Burkina Faso, a country dear to our hearts, and where we have been many times, including elsewhere in 2012 with Margot and Martin.
3. This photo that I like a lot is a perfect memory of our joint and family trip to Japan in the summer of 2019. Without a doubt the last trip of this type for a long time, because of the current health crisis.
4. And another photo from Japan, on Miyajima Island, with Margot and Martin. My brother has always been able to capture the moments of the bond between my two children, and this one is absolutely brilliant.
Among Margot's film photos, which ones are your top 3 favorites, and why?
1. This is one of the very first photos taken by Margot with her Lomo'Instant, in Paris in the courtyard of the Invalides.
2. It is undoubtedly my favorite. Margot succeeded in catching this pigeon that comes out of the fountain while shaking itself, in Tarragona in Catalonia.
3. I don't really like to see myself in a portrait. But I admit that this photo taken of me in Hourtin, near the Atlantic, reconciled me with myself, thanks to my daughter's perfect control.
Among Martin's film photos, which ones are your top 3 favorites, and why?
1. A stroke of genius, this photo. My brother advised Martin to pose a little longer on this merry-go-round in Saint-Etienne, and the result is excellent.
2. A great film selfie in front of the town of Chinon. I really like this determined photo.
3. And finally, a very successful photo from one of our trips to Greece, on the Delphi site.
The Kids: Margot and Martin Heinz
Hi Margot and Martin! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
@lomomargot: I am almost 17 years old and I am a high school student in a French-German bilingual stream. I don't really know what I want to do yet, but anyway I love German, and I want to use my fluency in this language. I love to take pictures when we are traveling.
@martingraphy: I am 14 years old and I am a student in Middle school. I am passionate about rugby, which I practice intensively in a club, 2 to 3 times a week. I admit that I have a little less time to take an interest in photography.
Your uncle is one of the pioneers in the Lomography community. What advice did he give you when you first started with film photography?
He taught us the basic things to know, and every time he comes to stay with us, or that we go on vacation with him, he gives us advice, makes us discover new things. He can talk about photography for hours anyway. When you launch it, it doesn't stop!
What are the important lessons that you learned from your dad?
With our dad, it's more the context of the photo, it's less the technique. Our dad explains to us the symbolic or historic role of this or that object to be photographed. He also gives us the advice to favor a particular angle. In fact, on vacation, we like to take pictures together. It is always very pleasant.
What do you like taking pictures of?
Mostly landscapes, street scenes, snapshots of family moments.
What do you like about film photography?
Taking pictures with a film camera is just to do things differently than with your smartphone. We also take a lot of photos with our smartphones, but filming is magic, and the photo taken remains really engraved, not like the digital photos that are erased so quickly.
Among the film photos in your LomoHome, which ones are your favorites, and why?
Margot: 1. It has become my profile picture for many applications, I really like the result. And besides, I really like Lomochrome Purple;
2. I love this picture. Already, because I really like black and white, and because there is a real serenity that emanates from these flowers.
Martin: 1. I am very attached to this photo because it is a nice moment when friends of ours from Burkina Faso were visiting us in France. In the photo, there is also my mom and my uncle Stéphane;
2. And that is a great souvenir selfie with my uncle Stéphane.
Among the film photos that your dad took, which ones are your favorites, and why?
Margot: This is my favorite picture of my dad. He took it in Greece in 2018, with his beloved camera, the Soviet Zenit.
Martin: It's a great photo of our cat Merlin, he's too cute, we have the impression that he is posing.
Are you familiar with Lomography's 10 Golden Rules? Which rule do you like best?
Margot: I love rule #3, “Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.”
Martin: I prefer rule #6, “Don’t think.”