MEET MARKOS LEAVE, PHOTOGRAPHER, ARTIST, FATHER OF THREE AND COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH HIS LIFE-LONG CAREER. HERE, WE TAKE A GLIMPSE AT THIS MASTER’S PASSIONS, PERILS, LOVE AND WISDOM.
By Mary Bendayan
When was the first time you held a camera in your hands? Was the connection immediate?
I was seven, and it was my dad’s. I had a fight with my sister, who told me I didn’t know how to take pictures. A week later, we got the developed photos and they were good! I understood right then that I could do it.
How has your work evolved after all these years? Is there still much to innovate?
This is one of the traditional jobs that evolves the most, not only with the technology and equipments, but also with the clients’ tastes. You must innovate to stay active.
What enraptures you when doing a project?
Being able to capture and retain the important moments and inner stories in the lives of my clients in a manner that is both creative and artistic.
What characteristics best define you as a professional?
I would say passion, creativity, perseverance, knowledge and responsibility; understanding and appreciating the trust my clients have in me. I photograph unique and once-in- a-lifetime moments. I love what I do.
If you hadn’t been a photographer, what would you have chosen?
I wanted to be a chef, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed it as much as I do photography.
Who is the one person who has impacted your life, without whom you wouldn’t be here today?
Leo Reinfeld, my photography teacher.
Is it true that you proposed to your wife Cindy during a wedding celebration?
It’s true! It was November 15, 1997. I took the microphone and asked my girlfriend to marry me. I had spoken with the bride beforehand, of course. I have photographed countless brides in my career, and what better place than a wedding to ask the love of my life to soon celebrate our own? Thankfully she said yes!
You’ve always been innovative, daring. In which experience you thought, “I’m not getting out of this alive”?
I went to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. I was taking pictures from viewing platforms and thought, “this is for tourists. I’m a professional!” So I jumped over the safety railings and went down for a better view of the ice, until a huge chunk plummeted down and barely missed me. I was lucky I didn’t die then and there.
Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind when I say the following:
Favorite food: Chocolate
Perfect place for your art: My creativity
A friend is… Forever
A dream yet to achieve: Seeing my children grow as women and men of valor, and to photograph India.
A dream come true: My family
What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue this career?
Don’t concentrate solely on weddings; there are fields that are more lucrative and less stressful, and you will be able to spend more time with your family. Love what you do. Understand your social and professional responsibility as a photographer. Study and learn thoroughly. Learn from those who know more than you; don’t think this is a hobby. It’s not! Share your triumphs and achievements. Always back up your photos! Use a camera with double cards, and immediately create a backup. Don’t improvise the day of the event; rest and draw a schedule of your plan. And finally, learn to trust and believe in yourself.