HERO Framed is our ongoing series platforming up-and-coming photographers capturing the world around them through a unique lens.
An admirer of classical art and a die-hard Arsenal fan, Louis Bever’s photography combines his two loves. Inviting friends to sit for portraits inside his flat wearing rare footie shirts in modern-day retellings of renowned works such as Johannes Vermeer’s 1665 painting Girl with a Pearl Earring. Artworks aside, Bever captures intimate moments of couples sharing a kiss or the postman stopping by to drop off a parcel – all sporting old-school kits, of course.
Name: Louis Bever
Camera of choice: It really depends on what I am shooting; however, I do enjoy a Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 7 and Leica M6.
Preferred subject: Anything portraiture. I also thoroughly enjoy visiting new cities, anything that catches my eye.
Favourite time of the day to shoot: Definitely in the morning. I use a flash for my work, so I rarely rely on natural light. I prefer the morning because meeting and shooting people usually puts me in a splendid mood for the rest of the day.
Most recent photo you took: This morning in the corner of my bedroom where I shoot all my pictures. It involves 90s sports memorabilia and a fair bit of Modigliani and Cezanne influences.
How you first became interested in photography: My grandpa was a photographer in the army. He gave me his old Pentax K1000 when I was 12. My first roll was pants, and I kept shooting out of pure stubbornness as I wanted a whole roll with every picture perfectly in focus and exposed. After a fair few rolls, I realised that I enjoyed taking pictures of my friends and skateboarding. My mum loves her art, too, and she frequently took my brother and I to galleries when my dad was away with work.
Photography by Louis Bever
Biggest influence: It would have to be various painters from the 1400s to the present. Painters were the photographers of their day, and I really admired their process. They didn’t paint a gazillion of the same image, and there was a long wait until you had the final image. I try to copy this through how I shoot portraits by slowing it down through equipment and only taking one picture per scene. It makes choosing images far easier. But I enjoy Picasso as his paintings can be interpreted in many ways. Sometimes, I see a couple embracing one another, and sometimes, I see one person in that same portrait. It’s fascinating.
Favourite photography series/book: I mainly collect old museum art books from charity shops, or my family and friends always pick one up for me if they see one in the local charity shop. However, Lola & Pani made a lovely book called Studio Portraits that I did buy. Everything about the book is excellent. The subjects are themselves in the images. The colours and compositions make you feel at ease.
Current project/s: Travelling is excellent, so I usually book cheap flights to somewhere and a cheap hotel to take pictures. I will visit Rome, Lisbon and Paris in September to see what I may stumble upon. I have been looking at a lot of Monet and Edward Hopper recently, too. Cartier-Bresson’s ‘Flaneur’ concept is the best way to describe how I use my time whilst travelling by walking and taking pictures until I run out of film. Secondly, I love football, but I want to recreate other sports I played in my childhood, so I’ll look at new sports to recreate portraits.
Check out Louis Bever on Instagram here.