Sunday, September 30, 2012

libby loo and her wide world of exquisite eyes

The images in Libby Loo Photography were astoundingly
feminine with a highway of the masculine.  Her body of work
is driven by questions I wanted answers to.  Our recent 
collaboration began with the symbiotic notion to create and
that is when my curiosity was pricked to be in the presence of 
meadows, warm sunlight, and grounded laughter with her.
She is a professional, there is no doubt about it.  The following
is an interview, she took the time to answer, and here is a touch 
into her world.

*What is your name, links and history to the introduction 
of Libby Loo Photography?
I've always played a part in the art world, from the ages 
of three to thirteen I was singing professionally as well as dancing 
(tap,ballet and hip hop). This led to theater and acting in my teens; 
my most memorable performance being Maria in West Side Story. 
I dabbled in auto mechanics, as well as the hair and makeup industry 
before finally landing at my passion: photography.
Libby Loo is entirely a fictitious name. It's used by everyone 
so I sometimes forget it isn't my actual name :P
In third grade I went from being an Ashley to Libby. 
I needed a name with individuality and Ashley just never felt right. 
After high school, I went to beauty school, where my friend Caley 
called me 'Libby Loo Who' as a joke inspired by Dr. Suess. 
Two years later, I became really sick with what I know now to be 
an autoimmune disorder. Bed ridden and bored out of my mind, 
I played in my room with my Canon Rebel xti and started editing 
self portraits for a Flickr community. After I started getting some 
positive feedback, I started contemplating a catchy business name 
as Libby Smith seemed dull and boring. Libby Loo rolled off the tongue 
nicely and I created my first logo as two pink donuts in the L 'oo'. 
Conceptual work with a flair of fun was and has been my inspiration 
from the very beginning. 
I've officially been Libby Loo Photography for five years now!
You can find me on almost every social network! 

*What tools do you use with your work?
I started out kind of backwards. I self- learned Adobe Photoshop 
by books, tutorials and workshops since I was 14 years old 
and then in a high school photo class, I learned technical camera 
information and lighting. I've been working with Canon digital 
equipment and relying heavily upon Photoshop to create the style 
I like. I'm very much a DIY person, so I made my own light set ups, 
backdrops, props, etc. I dove head first into photography with a 
mindset that the more I shot, the better I would get.  Because 
I started out without money for pro lighting equipment, 
I learned how to work with natural light and I still prefer it 
even though I own nice calumet lights. 
The past few months I've been studying film photography 
night and day and I plan to make the switch in my personal 
work in September. After I'm comfortable and confident with it, 
I'll integrate it into client sessions and paid work.


*Clarify the journey of where you are now 
with your photography? 
In all honesty, I'm in a very spiritual place with photography right now. 
This past year, I took some time off and really connected to who I am, 
what I want to spend my time doing. My autoimmune disorder caused 
painful arthritis in my right hand, which made me re-think my heavy 
editing process. Sitting at a computer all day- every day, has become 
a health issue for me (besides the fact it gets old, very quickly). 
I've stopped producing what I would label as 'safe' work, 
that I feel I fell into last year. I was consistently producing quick work 
for my clients, that I ended up losing my sense of style. 
Now I'm reading inspiring books that explain how every artist 
goes through this awakening period, and I think I just experienced 
my epiphany. 
Suddenly I looked around me and realized I've gotten rid of the 
negativity in my life and surrounded myself with passionate people 
who are wholeheartedly supportive, non-judgmental and positive. 
Because of this, I've lost my nasty,toxic fear of being wrong. 
Instead, I'm choosing to let the beauty of what I love, be what I do. 
And if other people like it, fantastic! If not, well that's okay too. 
I don't mean to keep rambling, but one of my 'aha' moments, 
was realizing that the personal work I've done in the past 
that came from my heart, happened to get the most attention 
publicly. I think that's what's inspired me to focus on what resonates 
with my soul.  I just want people to feel something when they look 
at my work. And if that person is just me, I'm okay with that.

*Inspiration, deep secrets, or special projects you wish 
to be a part of now?
My current inspiration is coming from nature, simplicity, paintings, 
and metaphysics. I've shifted my energy from being a control 
freak/ worry wart to just letting go and trusting that the universe 
will guide me and take care of me. So far, the changes in my life 
have inspired me to challenge myself and do more things that scare me. 
Music is a daily priority, I'm always hunting for new artists that inspire 
and make me envision images. Portugal the Man, Bjork, Muse, 
Radiohead, and Pinback are some of my current favorites.
Deep secret: I don't have money. But I have heart. 
I worked for free for far too long- it landed me in the hole. 
But you live and learn! 
Special Project: Libby Loo FILM style.  Quite a new adventure for me!
In 5 years, I hope to be traveling the world, with a camera in hand.  
But currently, I'm developing my photojournalism skills and hoping 
to photograph more children. I truly enjoy their honesty and curiosity; 
it inspires me to always see life through the eyes of a child.