Lev Relly: “I love human beings, any type…loves the human soul and take photos of it…I hope, and would like to believe, that I can transfer the emotions through my photos”
Lev Relly, Instagram account @levrelly, is a very talented photographer based in Israel, with an amazing photographic point of view.
Can you take us back to the place and time this picture was taken?
The place called BEIT JAN, a beautiful big Druze village in Israel, which I love visiting a few times a year and take pictures. All photos were taken with my Smartphone.
You describe yourself as a photographer. Are you a professional photographer or is this more of a hobby?
Yes, I am a professional photographer for many years, but 3 years ago I have left the area of taking pictures in events, where I professionalized many years in taking photos of food. Today I still take photos of food, but mainly doing styling, I mean food styling before photos are taken. Must note, when taking pictures of food there is a great emphasis on color and light.
One can see that street photography is your preferred photographic style. What do you like in this style of photography? Are you interested in other styles? If so, why do you not expose them?
Am I considered a street photographer? Maybe….I prefer the fact that I love human beings, any type…loves the human soul and take photos of it…I hope, and would like to believe, that I can transfer the emotions through my photos…this is what drives me…that is why I am not sure that “street photographer” describes me. I can certainly take photos of people inside their houses, even if they are directed and display the same emotion.
Do you believe that the evolution from amateur to a more professional photographer affects the way one “sees” things? Are you inspired by famous photographers?
I think that due to the fact that there are too many photographers nowadays, or at least everyone can take pictures today, there is a problem that everyone “thinks” he is a photographer, and there is no filter….Pity! It does not mean that professional photographers should take that into account.
I am very up to date, I watch a lot of photos from photographer from all over the world and get my inspiration from these. I get inspiration from photographers that I like and talk to my heart, but I continue with my own way.
What equipment do you use for shooting and how do you edit your photos?
As I said, I use only my Smartphone…Too lazy to walk around with a big camera, and believe that a good eye could do the job. When editing it via my Smartphone, I use applications I have downloaded.
Your Instagram gallery is mainly composed of Black and White pictures. Why do you prefer B&W over color?
There are no rules, everyone choose his own photographic way.
When I take pictures for leisure, it’s in black and white. I like the drama and art that the black and white are producing.
There is a strong human presence in most of your pictures. What is it that attracts you to people’s looks, actions, feelings etc? How easy is it for the photographer to convince the subject to pose?
Photography for me is a fascinating world. People are fascinating. Photography reflects parts of inside us, and it does not matter if it’s a snapshot because I am the one that feels when is the right moment to press the button….
I always take pictures of what my heart tells me to. In most of my photos, there are people, and it is important for me not to disconnect them from their natural environment.I am not always ask to pose for a picture…sometimes I am stealing, in English we say “take a picture”. Even when I steal, I can watch the image, feel it and then press the button. In my opinion, when asking to pose, it turns the photo to something disconnected and not natural, and less comfortable to the person. If I ask to pose, the person is less connected to its natural place.
As I said before, I take pictures of emotions. I try to take pictures inside out, i.e. to feel the image, sometimes to follow the body language, walk etc, and then click.
People usually visit Greece for sea and sun. Having lived in a place where turmoil is the norm and religious differences define the setting for this turmoil, and given that during the last few years, Greece has been under a financial crisis, while recently also under the pressure of managing a refugee crisis because of the war in Syria, would you consider visiting Greece and photographing these circumstances?
This is an ongoing love story for me … From the first time I visited Greece, many years ago, I felt it was a Nexus place, as if I had come home.
With a lot of intelligence, for long periods, for me Greece is one of the most beautiful countries with wonderful people, great food and most important: a glorious history!
It is true that there is a huge problem with the economic crisis and the entry of refugees, but I am completely sure that it is possible a solution to be found, as long as there is an intent.
Thank you very much Lev for your participation in our project. Keep on shooting and showing us the world through your eyes.
Rev Relly’s instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/levrelly
The interview was given on 21.06.2016