The Guy With The Camera
Sherban Lupu is a fashion and portrait photographer from Tel-Aviv, Israel. With portraits, he seeks to bring a peculiar angle, revealing a closer and more profound look into the personality of the subject. With celebrity portrait shoots some intrinsic thought processes come to the surface. The photos appear as a reminiscence of Jarmusch’s short stories in Coffee and Cigarettes.
Fashion projects are distinct and edgy, rushing in reality that comes on top of the carefully set scene. Elegant yet extravagant, slightly undone but only to the degree when roughness and irony cross the border to a softer look and feel.
With his art, Sherban explores and pushes the boundaries each time extending the beauty of the fashion world to merge with his natural sense of humor.
Sherban works with clients like Story, Factory 54, Nike, Alon Livné - LIVNÉ NYC, and others. With this interview, we want to congratulate Sherban and his wife Hila, who is a photographer as well, with the addition of a little one to their family!
WE SPEAK WITH SHERBAN IN THIS INTERVIEW ABOUT HIS COMING TO THE PROFESSION AND HOW BEING AT THE RIGHT TIME AND IN THE RIGHT PLACE CAN CHANGE ONE’S ROUTE IN LIFE. WE TOUCH TOPICS LIKE BUILDING TRUST AND RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MODEL, AN EXTREME PHOTOSHOOT IN RUSSIA, AND THE FAMILY DYNAMICS.
‘I THINK I WAS ALWAYS A PHOTOGRAPHER. I REMEMBER SNAPPING PHOTOS ON MY DAD'S CAMERA AS A LITTLE KID, AND I WAS ALWAYS "THE GUY WITH THE CAMERA" AMONG MOST OF MY FRIENDS’
Hi Sherban, how is going those hot summer days?
Hi, WÜL Mag I'm doing great. Love those hot summer days!
What’s the spot you spend the most time at in Tel-Aviv?
Except for the time I spend at home when working, I tend to spend most of my free time at the beach. I love Tel Aviv's beaches and things that happen there.
Tell about yourself and the path towards becoming a photographer?
Well, I think I was always a photographer. I remember snapping photos on my dad's camera as a little kid, and I was always "the guy with the camera" among most of my friends. But I never dreamed of becoming a professional photographer. I guess this profession found me as I was bartending at this beach restaurant where a lot of pro photographers were regular customers. That's how I became an assistant and started to understand more about photography.
You have worked with numerous local celebrities and shot strong, sensual portraits that accomplish each to tell a unique story. What is the most important element when shooting portraits to allow a personality to emerge?
The key to a good/strong storytelling portrait is DEVOTION, TRUST, and COMMUNICATION. The more a person/model/talent or celebrity devotes to a photo and trusts the photographer, the better the picture. It's about chemistry just like photography itself. Photography lives in the space between the end of the lens and the beginning of the person being photographed.
‘BEING MARRIED TO A PHOTOGRAPHER IS GREAT! WE CRITIQUE AND ADVICE EACH OTHER ALL THE TIME, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE COME FROM DIFFERENT GENRES, IT GIVES A GOOD PERSPECTIVE ON YOUR WORK’
What was the most memorable photoshoot in your career? Could you share some fragments about this story?
Ok, so, the most memorable photoshoot in my career is actually a very bad memory. I was shooting for a Russian magazine in Russia, I think it was November, and it was freezing. The plan was to shoot a group of 4 or 5 models in the forest. Sounds simple in theory but in practice, we were freezing our asses off. We had all kinds of delays, I couldn't feel my fingertips as I was pressing buttons on my camera, one model started crying because of the extreme cold, and I was left alone with directing and shooting all in mimes because I don't know a word in Russian, and the local models didn't speak or understand English. It was a very hard day, but the picture came out really nice.
How does it affect the family dynamics being married to a photographer and working in different genres? Do you advice or critique each other’s works?
Being married to a photographer is great! We critique and advice each other all the time, especially because we come from different genres, it gives a good perspective on your work. I love it, it's like a sport for us, we enjoy it a lot.
What would be your advice to the emerging photographers, the 3 do’s and don’ts?
First, I think while being an assistant for a real big photographer, you appreciate his work as important. It's the best way to get a feel of the reality of being a photographer.
2. Work hard and stay true to yourself... I know it's a cliché, but it's true, it's so easy to get distracted.
3. Show your work! As much as you can. Don't just shoot for your own personal fun. Think of it more as a career.
Name the best song of all time. What makes it special for you?
The best song of all time for me is "Baba O'Riley" by The How. This song always takes me back to my teenage years, when all we did was hang out, cause trouble, and skateboard all day long. This song was in the soundtrack of one of my favourite skate movies at the time and ever. I remember that every time I heard this song, it made me dream big!
What was the key moment that had to do with talent, luck, or being in the right place at the right time in your opinion that allowed you to finally realize that you are on the right path?
Can't really put my finger at the exact moment but somehow it all came together at the same time. I remember assisting Guy Kushi & Yariv Fein and just shooting model tests for numerous agencies. Then I started getting commissioned for all kinds of shoots. Then I finally found a studio, so everything came together perfectly.
What would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration has to be GUCCI!! A long way to go!
Next, my wife, Hila, and I are expecting a little man-cub this summer. That's my biggest next "big project " for now, but time sure will bring a lot of new energy and inspiration.