There are so many talented photographers out there, and I truly love discovering the world through their eyes. Sometimes, though, I find someone who’s work resonates so strongly with me, I just have to share. Edith Levy was one such photographer.
When I look at Edith’s images, I am completely drawn into the scene. Her images have such a strong sense of place and her travel portraits always seem to tell a great story. I fell in love with her travel work as soon as I discovered it, and I hope it speaks to you as well. :-)
Where are you located?
I’m in Ontario, Canada…Toronto to be exact.
How did you get into photography?
My parents bought me my first SLR, a Yashica FX-2, when I was 15 years old. I had been using a Kodak Instamatic up until then but I was bugging them for a “real” camera for a couple of years. I learned by trial and error, figuring out what settings to use as I went along. The problem was that with the cost of film and developing mistakes were costly for a 15 year old. While I didn’t major in Photography in University (I was a theatre major) I did take take some classes and learned how to develop film. When I got married and had my boys photography took a bit of a back seat and really with the exception of photographing my kids and our vacations I wasn’t pursuing the artistic side of the craft. I bought a DSLR, the Canon Xti, about 7 years and that put the wheels in motion for me. I rediscovered my love for the art of photography. I now shoot with a Canon 7D and am looking to add the 5D Mark iii later this year.
Who/What inspires you?
I find inspiration all around me but traveling to new places and meeting new people is a great source of inspiration. Closer to home I’m inspired by other photographers. I love to see how each photographer interprets a scene, how they create and bring their vision to life.
According to your website, you have your hands in a lot of pots…a brand for travel/street photography, a brand for dog portraits and a DVD company. Can you tell us a little about each?
I suppose I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. The DVD company, HiTIDE Productions, I started about 8 years ago. I create slideshows, sign-in books and coffee table books for weddings; Bar Mitzvahs, any milestone celebrations.
Edith Levy Photography started life as a blog, a place for me to challenge myself and grow as a photographer. What started as a 52 Week Challenge (posting a picture a week) quickly grew to where I posting almost daily. The reception that I received from visitors who quickly turned into followers of the blog and in turn people that I now call friends just amazed me. Now almost 4 years later while I don;t post as often, Edith Levy Photography is still growing. I have an online gallery and I’ve licensed a number of images. Last year a major US publisher licensed one of my images for a book cover. That was very exciting for me especially when as advance copy of the book arrived in the mail.
Last year I decided to combine my love for photography with my love for animals and that’s when the idea of a pet photography business started. PhoDOGraphy by Edith is a new venture and I’m still trying to build this new brand. My focus right now is local marketing which is challenging with this type of business. Check back with me in a year and I’ll let you know how its going.
What type of photography (travel or portrait) is your favorite and why?
Travel…hands down. I love exploring new places, people and cultures and capturing those with my camera.
Having multiple income streams gives you a financial safety net, but it requires more work. Can you talk a little bit about what goes into building, maintaining and marketing three separate business brands?
It’s not easy that’s for sure especially since I actually have a full time job. I work for a Financial Institution here in Toronto and my other business activities are conducted in the evenings and on weekends. It certainly is a juggling act but I love it and I have a very supportive husband. HiTIDE Productions has turned into a word of mouth / referral type business and a lot of return customers so I don’t do a lot of marketing for that. I work hard at promoting my main photography business through social media, local events such as photography exhibitions and connecting with potential buyers.
I noticed you are also a member of a camera club. How has that impacted your photo business / photography?
I joined my club, The Toronto Digital Photography Club, about 3 years ago. It was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. I’m surrounded by like minded individuals who are all striving to improve their craft and we all learn from each other. The club provides us with a venue to enter competitions, learn from a number of varied speakers and attend workshops throughout the year. If you want to grow as a photographer enter a competition. Trust me when you listen to the judges critiquing your images it can be very disconcerting but its a great learning experience.
Anything else you want people to know about your photography? Any projects to promote?
No specific projects per se. This year is about growing my pet photography business. Last year I attended a wonderful pet photography workshop and it was the first time I shot in a studio setting. I loved it so this year I’m putting my energy into learning all about studio lighting.
How can people find you/get a hold of you?
You can find me at www.edithlevyphotography.com or www.PhoDOGraphybyEdith.com
I can also be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EdithLevyPhotography