Wagwan la famille
Louis Bever, a photographer living n between Liverpool and Paris recently shot for The Basement; zoning in on his fascination with the skate culture and the streetwear scene, he took to the streets of Paris, and what he captured was truly beautiful. We caught up with the Louis to find out a bit more about him.
What made you choose film over digital?
I shoot both but every time I get film developed, I just want to quit shooting on digital. The results can be so exciting. Today I had 2 rolls developed and I was over the moon with them. It felt like I had taken one of those pills from Limitless. I shoot digital for jobs and film for my own pleasure.
Why do you shoot; what do you get out of shooting?
I first started shooting because I wanted to capture a moment that I could remember forever. With a camera you can do that and show it to other people. You can’t recreate that with a memory in your head.
I’m in my third year of a law degree and it can be draining so photography has been a great way to relax from it all. It makes me feel great and I like taking portraits of people. Seeing them happy with the results makes me even happier with my work.
If you could shoot one person, dead not alive, who and why?
This is hard, I quite like the idea of shooting eccentric artists like David Bowie or Salvador Dali. They were fascinating people with incredible creativity that will not be forgotten. Also Dali’s appearance is quirky and different , so I would love to capture a great shot of an obscurely-waxed mustache.
I would love to shoot artists like Kurt Cobain, but I’d feel he’d just throw a guitar and me and tell me to ‘fuck off’ if I pointed a camera at him. I suppose I would get a great shot of him chucking a guitar at me.
As of late you seem to be shooting a lot of skaters, particularly in Paris. We know you’re of French heritage, but where does the fascination with skating come from?
It’s incredible what my great great grandfather did by getting economic problems with his brothers in Paris. He ran away from Paris to England, changed his name to Bever and had sexual intercourse with half of the UK. Proud of my heritage.
I’ve been skateboarding since I was 10 and then stopped when I was 16 due to studying and I’ve suddenly got back into it. Unlike any other sport, capturing the motion of skateboarders moving and their styles can look incredible in photos.
I really enjoy the skateboarding culture too. Everybody is really kind towards each other, no matter what background you are from. There is always a great shot to be taken when you are with a group of skaters, so I always have a camera on me.
Do you find a difference in the skate culture in Paris vs London?
Unfortunately I haven’t been to London and met any skaters from there. It’s on my list to do this summer but I enjoy shooting and skating with the guys from Lost Art in Liverpool and they’re are more similarities than differences. I think it’s the fact that everyone is so welcoming.
Everyone enjoys going down to their local spot/skateshop, having a couple of beers and having a skate too in France and England. There are never any arguments and everyone always has a laugh, French and English. The French are just fascinated that I speak their language so they’re always more than welcome to let me join them.
In one word describe the feeling you get when you saw the final developments from this shoot
What influences you work, in both the style you shoot in and subject choices?
If there was a word for ‘I felt like back flipping off a llama into a pool of hummus’ I’d go with that. I had a strange adrenaline rush but it could have been the amount of coffee that I had consumed. Every photo made me want to hi-5 myself. I kept muttering “You da man” under my breathe. I sound really up my own arse when I say things like that.
I tend to look at old French photographers like Willy Ronis and Henri Cartier Bresson for inspiration. Then I look at great skateboard photographers like Ed Templeton and Atiba Jefferson. Then I like to think I just mix the two.
Whats next for you?
Lord knows, I need to finish my university degree and see what happens. With regards to photography , it’ll always remain a hobby so I am going to continue shooting in Paris and Liverpool and just enjoy shooting. I am going to Florence next week so hopefully I’ll shoot a couple of rolls out there too. Then I’ll probably spend the whole summer draining my bank account by buying film , shooting it and developing it.
You can check out the rest of Louis’ work on his site www.louisbever.com or his instagram @Louisbever
Photography by Louis Leon Bever