A "Real-Life" Photographer

Mort Loveman is a travel photographer who has been all around the world capturing exotic images of landscapes in Botswana, Fiji, the Amazon River, Mongolia, and Lake Titicaca, just to name a few. He has traveled for the last thirty years with a Nikon film camera in his hand ready to snap that perfect shot. Today, I attended one of his weekly, two-hour slide show lectures where he presented the "Inca Civilization, Including Machu Picchu."

When I stepped into the auditorium at Roxbury Park Community Center, I noticed that more than three-quarters of the seats were empty and that all of the folks there were at least sixty-five years old. Wondering if I had accidentally stepped into an afternoon game of Bingo, I walked over to an old man of about 5’ 6”, white-bearded, wearing a black baseball cap, a dark-blue broken-in sports jacket and a pair of grey khaki trousers and asked him if this was where the slide show would be held. He smiled and assured me I was in the right place. This was Mort Loveman.

“Have you been here before, or is this your first time,” he asked with a pleasant grin on his glowing, light-skinned face.

“This is my first time,” I responded.

“Okay, go ahead and fill out this form for me.” He handed me a sheet of paper which asked for some basic information, such as my name, address, and birth date. As I glanced over the sheet, I noticed Loveman strangely examining my face.

“You’re a senior citizen. You look like you’re about seventy-years old,” he told me. I was suddenly thrown aback. Was he joking with me? I am only twenty-eight years old. I felt like I had just stepped into the Twilight Zone or something. He then leaned over to me and whispered, “If you write that you’re a senior citizen I don’t have to charge you. Otherwise, you have to pay ten-dollars.”

Hi, my name is Edgar and I am seventy-five years old.

***

Loveman is a man with a wonderful sense of humor. He loves to speak in front of a group of people and entertain. Throughout the slide show, the photographer filled every image with a wonderful story about why he chose that particular subject. He advised us “When you travel, you have to ask yourself, ‘What is my objective?’ ‘What do I want to see?’ Am I traveling because of the music, the art, the archeology, the architecture, or what?’”

Aside from photographing the tourist areas, Loveman also chose to capture images that depict the “real-life” of Peru. In one image, for example, we see the outside fa├žade of a building with dozens of dark stains on the floor around the building. Two children are standing over the stains. Loveman explained that the two children live in the street and that they use the exterior of the building as their own private restroom. The children had planted the urine and feces stains on that ground.

“You probably wouldn’t take a picture of this, but this is the way people really live there,” Loveman commented. He made it a priority throughout his visit in Peru (and I would imagine his whole life) to not only look at the beautiful side of things, but the grimy, painful, and hard-working side as well. There is something appealing about that way of approaching life.

Loveman has taken extraordinary pictures from the top of the ruins at Machu Picchu (he advises that the best time to see the ruins is at sunrise and sunset) and of the natives of Cusco (where he shot the most remarkable photo of an indigenous woman carrying a child on her back).

Without any doubt, Mort Loveman is a man with a big heart. He is a man worth his name and his photographs are a testimony to this truth.