Libby Volgyes

Tell me about your promo.

The magazine was designed by Monashee Photo Consultant and printed by Blurb. We did a first run of 100 to send out to ad reps and marketing reps, and other people I wanted to work with. I suspect I’ll make more to hand out once I’m brave enough to start trying for desk-side meetings.

I’ve sent out print promos before, but this was the first big print campaign, and I enlisted the amazing Monashee that I’ve been working with the last year. I am REALLY terrible at design – so terrible that when I was studying at the University of Missouri-Columbia and taking my Photojournalism Capstone class, Rita Reed made me do an extra project on design because I was so terrible at it. So I think I knew from a pretty early age in my career I was never going to be a photo editor or designer and that I’d always need someone to hold my hand for design projects.

I think, particularly in this day and age of social where we barely have the energy to double-tap an image, there’s something incredibly beautiful about the permeance of prints and collateral. I don’t feel bad at all if anyone throws it out- I can’t stand clutter, so I would understand that. But I hope for the moments when they’re holding, feeling, and flipping through my book that they’re enjoying a couple of moments of peace. And to me, that’s what prints are about. Permanence even in impermanence.

A lot of the images in the book – and most of the ones you featured on Instagram were personal projects. 20 years into this profession, I still just really LOVE taking photos. So when I had some time off, and my food stylist did too – and I’m lucky to have a really wonderful relationships with my food stylist – one I consider “my muse” — we get together and play. It is unbelievably fun. The picture of the fish and the hanging fruit were both play days. Sometimes we look to art – paintings from the Dutch or the Flemish and are inspired by their light and their subjects that we can easily translate realize. Often we’re motivated by beautiful old props or stunning ingredients. That’s enough to make a photo many days!

The portraits are from a project I started four years ago called “Faces of Food” where I wanted to improve my portraiture, so I set about to photograph the faces behind the food industry. It ended up being a huge body of work– I photographed close to 100 food professionals (bartenders, farmers, chefs, pastry artists, etc.) over three days for a final edit of 18. It ran in the local magazine, we had a nice art opening, and I displayed the art around town; finally, it displayed at Food Photo Festival in Vejle, Denmark, where it was a finalist for the Feature Award. Today, I’m still photographing “Faces” whenever I get the chance. Props, similar lighting and the same backdrop. It just keeps being fun for me.

Honestly, I shoot a lot in my spare time. I’m bi-coastal – my husband and dog live in a small town in Oregon (Hood River), and my business is based in West Palm Beach, and I have studios in both places. So I get exposed to different light and different ingredients, and there’s just something crazy intense in me that just loves to shoot for myself. It’s probably a sick compulsion and needs to be medicated but there’s nothing in the world that feels like, “I JUST TOOK A PICTURE THAT MIGHT BE GOOD.” Just for those few moments when the world just stops…and you can breathe … that’s what I can’t wait for.

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1 Comment

  1. Really striking work, love the richness and great lighting/color in each photo.

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