There are many musicians who rock behind the camera as much as they do on stage. We already wrote about some of them (twice), and one of them is Lenny Kravitz. Most people know this talented man as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and even an actor. But in this video, T. Hopper focuses on Kravitz as a photographer and his career part in this particular field.
Kravitz reportedly began his music “career” by banging on pots and pans in the kitchen. He was only three when he played them as drums, and music is, apparently, his first love. His father was a jazz promoter, so he took him to music shows from a very early age. He was also a photojournalist for NBC, so Kravitz got something else from his dad: the love for photography and his first Leica camera.
The multi-talented musician admits that it took a while before he devoted himself to photography. “I used to play with my father’s Leica camera, but I had no idea how to use it,” he once said. “I was attracted to the camera and the design.” Later in life, he became friends with photographers who let him in their studios and darkrooms to watch them work. “I found it magical,” Kravitz said. He added that his most important teachers were photographers Mark Seliger and Baptiste Mondino.
The camera Kravitz got from his dad when he was 21 served as an inspiration for Leica in 2015. They created the M-P edition titled “The Correspondent,” made to resemble the musician’s very first camera. More recently, in 2019, Kravitz and Leica collaborated again. In May of that same year, Leica launched the M Monochrom camera named “Drifter,” a $24,000 limited edition model.
As a photographer, Lenny Kravitz prefers black and white to color. Even though it’s lacking real-world colors, Kravitz finds black and white photography “more realistic.” He enjoys photographing people and ever-fleeting moments of life.
Kravitz published a photo book of his work in 2015, followed by an exhibition of his photos. The book and the exhibition titled Flash show his photos of paparazzi, photographers, and fans he’s often surrounded with in public. In this book, Kravitz “captures the essence of what it’s like to be a rock star who’s constantly in the public eye,” Leica writes.
The second exhibition titled Drifter shows another aspect of Kravitz’s life. “I am a drifter. I’m always on the move – a free spirit, open to adventure,” Kravitz said. He moved away from home at the age of fifteen and the world became his home. So, in his second exhibition, this is what he wanted to depict.