Chilean artist Eduardo Pavez Goye does a bit of everything. He’s a screenwriter and playwright, director, actor, photographer and youtuber. If you’ve stumbled across his YouTube channel you might be familiar with the captivating style of his street photography videos, full of energy and often accompanied by a music bed of frenetic jazz drumming.
Somehow, despite his constantly overflowing creative life, Eduardo also found the time to chat to us about his analogue adventures and his ongoing love affair with the Lomo LC-A.
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and how you first got started with film photography?
Sure. My name is Eduardo Pavez Goye. I'm a Chilean artist. I work mostly in theater as a playwright, director, and performer. But I have also worked as a screenwriter for movies and television, and as a professional photographer, mostly doing portraits, weddings, and street photography.
You obviously keep very busy with other artistic projects. How does this work inform and intersect with your photography? Or do you prefer to keep the two worlds separate?
So far I keep them separated. With time, that has been proven to be a good thing. When I'm going through an intense writing process, I don't feel like going out and taking pictures. By the same token, when I'm in a creative high with photography it's hard to sit down and write a play. So I use this natural separation as a mechanism to guide my work. When I don't feel like doing a specific project, I go for another. That way I don't have to force myself, and when I go back to what I have to do, it feels fresh and exciting.
What made you decide to start the YouTube channel?
I was living in Berlin, and was about to move to London. I met someone who was from there and she told me it was very hard to meet people in London if you don't have a network, so the best way to meet people was making a Youtube channel. This wasn't completely alien to me, because my best friend and ex partner (Fran Meneses) also has a Youtube channel, and I had helped her for years to do editing, color grading, and so on. So when the idea of making my own Youtube channel appeared, she helped me by promoting it and giving me tips on how to be more efficient. So I was lucky to have someone by my side that had already walked that path.
It's been great. I also have a Diana, a Holga, and the polaroid backs. Whenever a friend comes to visit me I take an instax picture of them and put it on my fridge. The LC-A Wide in 120 is one of my favorite cameras to bring on trips. It's so light and it's great for close up shots. But my absolute favorite camera is the Lomo LC-A. I have had two that I have bought in the second-hand market. The first one I got it in Chile, back in 2009. That one broke down and so I bought another one in London, back in 2017. I want to buy an LC-A+. Whenever somebody asks me which film camera should they buy, I always say they should get a Lomo LC-A. It takes amazing pictures, it's crazy compact, and it's simple to use.
Something that is very apparent in your videos is your lack of fear approaching strangers to take photographs. What’s your advice to those people who want to shoot more street photography but are nervous about doing so?
The main thing is being empathetic. Treat everybody with respect. Imagine you are the one having your picture taken. Smile. Nod. Say thank you. If they stare at you with a strange look, approach them and tell them why you think they look great and why you want to have their picture taken. I never photograph people looking for a comedic effect. I don't want to make them look silly or funny. I want them to look good. I use photography as a way to capture the beauty in those around me. Even in the most horrible situations, you can still capture their bravery or dignity. If you engage with others from a place of honesty and a good heart, there is nothing to fear.
You’re based in New York but you’ve taken your photography to many different places. Do you think it’s easier in some ways to take photographs as an outsider?
It depends. For example, I feel very comfortable taking pictures in Mexico because I speak the language natively but my accent tells them I'm clearly not from there and they generally have a very friendly attitude towards people visiting from other Spanish-speaking countries. On the other hand, I feel terribly uncomfortable taking pictures in Germany, because they have a culture of radical respect of their privacy. I felt similar in Japan, but I felt the Japanese culture was less confrontational and more used to cameras in general.
Anything exciting coming up in 2022 that we should know about?
I just finished the second season of my play "Record", here in New York. During June I'll be in Seville giving workshops on how to write graphic novels, alongside Fran Meneses. In July I'll be touring through Chile with my band "Tenemos Explosivos", releasing our fourth studio album. In August I'll be in New York writing my dissertation and taking a rest. 2022 has been intense. Now that spaces are opening up again, there is so much to do. I'm trying my best to keep up.