So, first of all, I'm Stéphane Heinz (yeah, I know, like the ketchup ;))), I'm 35 years old, living in Nice on the french riviera and I'm teacher for History and Geography in a secondary school. I was born in Germany, from a french mother and german father, lived all my childohood there and i'm in Nice for over 20 years now. My main interests are all about culture in general (movies, literature, comics, art, music...) and of course, Lomgraphy, my absolute passion! And I share my life and passions with Kathi (lomohomes.com/katoun), my most important source of inspiration and happiness in life (and favorite photographic model as well...)
1. How long have you been a Lomographer? How did you get into it?
I'm a lomographer for almost 5 years now. In the spring of 2004 I was browsing on the internet when I discovered a review of Fred Lebain's book "My Holidays with Holga". I was so amazed about the pictures I saw that I immediately bought a Holga. I was already involved in analogue photography for over 10 years at the moment, but feeled really bored by the classical schemes of it, had no more inspiration and wanted something new... Holga saved my photographic life!! But it was only 2006 that I discovered the website of lomography.com (I was a lomographer for the 2 past years but didn't knew it, ha ha... ;) and opened my lomohome and then.... I was quickly totally Lomo-addicted, bought a lot of cameras and today, I can't imagine my life without lomography!
2. Write a Lubitel acrostic (each letter in Lubitel spells out a new word)
Love Unique Beauty Imagination True Emotion Lubitel love
3. The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had.
There are often funny encounters/situations when you're out for shooting with a lomographic camera (where's the screen behind the camera for viewing the shot, does this thing make pictures?, etc...) but the greatest lomographic and human experience I had with my cameras was on a trip to Burkina Faso, in Africa, at the end of 2008. The people and all the kids I met there where so sincere, friendly and offered all they had: they allowed me without any problem to take pictures of them, and the kids where asking more then once to be on the pictures! The whole series of portraits I made are so emotionally rich, so human, because the people (and specially the kids) were simply themselves, without hiding something, they didn't try to look like different of what they were. And that's one of the best photographic/human experience I had the chance to live.
4. If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be (song title & artist please).
That would be (because I often have these songs in my head when I'm shooting with Lubitel....): - The Innocence Mission "The lakes of Canada" (Album "Birds of my neighborhood", 1999) - The Beta Band "Dry the rain" (Album "The 3 EP's", 1998) - Windsor for the Derby "The melody of a fallen tree" (Album "We fight 'til death", 2004)
5. What should one think about when taking a self portrait?
NOTHING! If you think to much you can't make a true and honest self portrait.....
6. How can the Lubitel change your approach to photography – or life in general?
The lubitel can change it because you have a different approach to the subjects your taking a picture of. And this is specially true when you take portraits of people with the Lubitel. Portrait photography is great, but very difficult, because the person you're shooting needs to be as natural as he/she is without a camera... and as soon as a camera focuses on someones face, it's not the same anymore... You can "cheat" of course, by shooting people from the hip, or surprising them. I discovered that the Lubitel had a very special "power" to shoot people directly, without hiding your camera and still have a natural behavior of the subject: I think it is because you don't look in a viewfinder like classic SLR cameras, pointing your eyes and lens directly in the face of your subject (kind of agressive sometimes...); no with Lubitel, you're looking down, composing your image without looking directly at your subject. You almost look harmless to the people, and even if they see that you're taking a picture of them, they more look at you and don't feel impressed by the camera.... Well, don't know if I'm really clear, but taking a picture with a Lubitel is an unique experience to have a different view of the world...!
7. What kind of person is most likely to be a Lubitel Lover?
Mhmmm, not easy to answer... In my opinion, a Lubitel Lover should be someone very patient, someone who knows that if he waits 10, 20, 30 minutes or an hour or more at one place, he will be rewarded by a great shot. Lubitel is not specially a camera where you shoot like crazy, all the time and everything (The LCA is the master for that...). You need some time to choose what you want to take, compose your shot and fire when you think it's the best moment. But the perfect Lubitel Lover also likes to experiment new things, to imagine new situations, take some risks to have a unique shot and that means that he /she accepts to make a whole roll without having anything good, but learns why to have at least one good shot on the next roll... well, it's true about photography in general, but specially with the Lubitel. And of course, the main thing is that the Lubitel lover takes a special care of his camera, and truly loves it....
8. If you could be anywhere, doing anything, right now – where would it be and what would you do?
I'd like to be in a totally unknow place, anywhere on earth, and go out with my Lubiel to explore, discover and shoot things, situations and people I never knew before; That's the main excitement of photography: exploring (in this sense it was the case during my trip in Africa...)
9. What is the best frame of mind for excellent Lubitel shot?
What should your attitude be?
The frame of the viewfinder the Lubitel offers you! You should have nothing in mind about the picture you'll shoot before looking in the viewfinder of the Lubitel. He tells you what to shoot! That means that you need to have the widest open mind as possible, and adapt to every and any place to take a shot as it is, not as you wish it could be.
10. If you could give a Lubitel to anyone in the world (as a gift), who would it be?
I would give it to my nephew Moritz. He's just 8 years old, a little bit shy, doesn't talk to much, stays a bit behind the others, but everytime when I see him and propose him to make some pictures together, he has a sparkling light coming out his eyes and he wants to shoot pictures. He alreay made great shots with Holga (see an album on my home called "Holga Kids") and this winter he tried out the Yashica GSN and the Lubitel+! I was really impressed by his shooting, how easily he was doing it and when looking at the results on the film I hardly saw the difference between his shots and mine! So I'd liked to give him the opportunity to explore the ways of photography, and a Lubitel would be a great present for him!
11. Your advice to future Lubitel shooters.
Well, what I already answered at question 7 and 9.... patience and open mind!
12. Your best photo so far, why?
I don't know if it's my best photo, but it's the one I personally like the most: Kathi laughing. I was so happy to have captured this moment on a picture, because I simply love so much when she's laughing. And at this precise moment, the Lubitel was the perfect camera to express this love and fix it on a film....
Let me finish this interview with a sentence of the Beatles song called "The End" (on "Abbey Road") and that resume the whole spirit of the Lubitel Love (and you can forget all I said before...) "And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give"