I’d like you all to meet Ivan Lanz. A Miami based photographer with a great eye for capturing a contrast of colours, people and landmarks. I first heard of Ivan through Instagram: @ivesmatik, with over 4,000 followers on the gram I became obsessed with stalking his page and learning new techniques from him. I loved seeing the locations he would shoot and the rules of photography that he would follow, because of all of this I had so many questions I wanted to ask him and I knew more people needed to see his amazing work, so here we go! This is Magic Eight with Ivan Lanz:
1.How and when did you get into photography?
I started photography because of a friends years ago in Florida. I was raised in South Florida and one of my good friends started messing around with his dad's camera around our high school years. At first I didn't really think much of it; however, once my buddy took me to shoot a sunset one day and seeing his camera reproduce the almost exact beautiful thing that was happening in the sky really impacted me. I think in that moment I realized how powerful cameras had come along and why I never gave it a shot. Some months after that and instagram came around. With everyone sharing photos, that was what ultimately pushed me to want to share even more beautiful photos than the regular person on there.
2.Do your family and friends influence your work in anyway?
Yes, I would say mostly my friends and peers definitely have a big influence in my work. Anytime I shoot with someone else thats a photographer or edit with someone, it's always awesome to pick their brain and see how they do things compared to myself. I think it helps me reflect what things Im doing well and what things I could potentially improve on. And whenever we share tips, its not about copying one another, its more like helping each other be the best we can be in our own style.
3. Having over 4,000 followers on Instagram do you feel pressure and how does social media affect your work?
Yeah, which is pretty silly because its not like I have a MASSIVE following. However, I still feel this social pressure of having to post and keep up with whats going on online. I think theres definitely some downsides to not posting and kind of being ghost for a while. I've seen some people successfully do it, but I think when you take a break for so long people just forget you're even still around since there's so many people sharing online. So, with that said, yes, I definitely feel pressure to post sometimes but I always try to make sure it's work thats professional/good enough to share. I think it's important to keep content always engaging and not just post something mediocre to just post.
4. Your audience only see's the end product of your photo's, but from choosing the location to uploading the photo how long does that process take and does it vary?
Definitely varies depending on the project, the magnitude of the project, and also the amount of products I have to shoot/focus on. I definitely like to take a day or two to think about locations and potentially scout some to understand what makes each location special and how lighting is hitting the location at that given time of the day. This immediately gives me a better idea on what location I'm going to end up choosing. With that said though, I also have shoots that I'm hired to shoot + edit + upload all in the same timeframe so the work can be in "real-time". So, it definitely varies on the project. When it's a project that I have control over, I like to space things out a bit so I can shoot, edit and upload all in different timeframes so I'm not rushing myself. Just kind of do it when it feels right.
5. Do you have any other passions you'd like to pursue?
Actually, I've been really interested in picking up video. I think knowing about photography gives me a bit of an advantage when learning video so I think it could be something I could excel in. I really love how videos tell a story and can make you feel so much with just moving images. I think photography has the power to move people but its much harder to capture one still photograph that moves you compared to telling a story with multiple moving images.
6. Your photograph's really do vary with your tones and angles, what would you say is your main inspiration and what do you want people to notice most about your work?
You know, thats actually a hard question because it's something that I'm still trying to answer myself. I think my main inspiration is shoot EVERYTHING. Not just ONE thing. I think in the future I will potentially just like to focus on one style/one specific niche way of capturing images (which is what a lot of photographers do, and many are very successful at it). However, at the moment, I feel like I'm still learning, I still want to take photos of everything and anything that seems interesting to my eye or something I want to document. I really love working with people since it gives me a chance to create more dynamic and engaging photos compared to shooting product. Product photography can be fun but also can get a bit boring and tedious. When another person is involved, it always gets the creative juices flowing right and for the most part creates beautiful photos. Right now I'm currently trying to find an editing style that I can at least keep somewhat consistent for my images. But, this gets tricky because I love to learn new ways of doing things so it's hard for me to stick to one formula for so long. I think what I want people to notice most about my work is how diverse it is and that you can be good at shooting more than one thing.
7. For someone like myself and plenty of other people looking to get into photography, what would you say is the biggest thing you've learnt?
The more you shoot, the more you learn. I think thats something that sounds so cliche but it's so so true. No one is a great photographer at the start, for most people you're just shooting what captivates your eye at that given time (I mean there are some freaks of nature out there that are professional photographers as soon as they touched the camera, lol). At first I was just shooting sunsets and trees and then I wanted to challenge myself at shooting different settings/scenarios. A lot of times when you step out of your comfort zone, the images you take don't come out as strong as maybe the images you're used to taking. But, I think thats so necessary in terms of evolving your work and helping yourself get better at adapting to different lighting & shooting situations. Keep shooting and keep challenging yourself because it will ultimately help you develop your style whether it has to do with composition, or editing, etc.
8. In your opinion what is your favourite photo you've taken and why?
I think my favorite image ever taken has to be the photos I took of Abel (The Weeknd) in Marfa, TX for the PUMA x XO Collection. It was one of my first official photoshoots as the in-house photographer at PUMA and it was also the first time I had shot a celebrity/artists of that magnitude. The main photographer was Nabil Elderkin, who's actually a very famous music video directors, so it was just an absolute pleasure to essentially share the stage and shoot BTS for PUMA, The Weeknd and also shoot alongside a legendary director/photographer.