After studying photography and cinema, Louis Jay began working in New York as an advertising photographer during the early 1980s. Jay moved to Rio during 1986, living and working for 5 years. He moved back to Miami during 1991 and retired from commercial photography during 2011. Since then, he has dedicated himself to personal projects. He lives half the year in Miami and the other half of the year in Paris. His current personal project is called, “Miami Blues.”
What camera and equipment do you use? Specifically, Leica equipment.
I have a Leica M10, a Leica M (Typ 246), Leica Monochrom and a Leica MP for film work. I use mostly the 50mm Summilux ASPH, the 35mm Summilux ASPH and the 28mm Elmarit ASPH. I also have the 75mm Summarit, 90mm Elmarit-M and a 50mm f1.0 Noctilux. This project was shoot on the new Leica M10.
How would you describe your photography?
I am working on several ongoing personal projects involving cities and places that I am passionate about. I have a body of work about Rio, Paris and Southern Italy including Sicily. I also photograph in Miami, where I live in addition to Paris.
Are you a full-time photographer or would you describe yourself as a serious enthusiast?
I am a full-time photographer. I started photographing seriously as a young man in London. After studying photography and later cinema, I worked in New York, Rio and Miami in editorial and advertising photography realms. I have always done personal projects throughout my career and have had a few exhibits.
When did you first become interested in photography as a mode of expression, and art form, a profession?
My dad was a serious amateur photographer so I grew up surrounded by photography books and magazines as well as my dads’ cameras. While studying photography in London I started to see exhibits and explore the photographers that would influence me. After I left NYU film school I started to work as a professional.
Did you have any formal education in photography, with a mentor, or were you self taught. Was there a photographer or type of photography that influenced your work or inspired you?
I studied photography in London at Harrow College of Art and then cinema at the New York University Graduate Film Institute. My mentors include the documentary photographer, Lisette Model, whom I studied with at the New School – Parsons in New York and my Czech cinematography professor at NYU Film School, Beda Batka.
What genre are your photos?
I do not like to narrow my photography to a genre like just “street photography.” I have always been interested with the intersection of people and place in cities that I have been visiting or living. I prefer the moniker “Urban Landscapes” which for me involves street scenes, portraits, architecture and anything that attracts me visually.
How did you first become interested in Leica?
I first became interested in Leica Cameras when I saw my dad’s Leica M3, which he used quite a lot during the 1950s and 1960s. I got my own Leica when I moved to London and bought a used Leica M4.
What approach do you take with your photography or what does photography mean to you?
My approach to photography is simple: I heeded the mantra of photographer Lisette Model who said, “You should photograph what your passionate about.”
To know more about Louis, please visit his official website.