Rhythm brings together a unique group of individuals with a shared dream of creating a livelihood doing what they love. The Shapers explores the notion that we are all shaping a unique path in our own creative way, for each instalment we will introduce you to a new and innovative individual doing just that.
The start of each season sees a fresh campaign for Rhythm, guided by a seasonal narrative that ties together design intent with brand vision. There are a select few that help to bring this vision to life each season and photographer Libby Dodd is one of those very talented people.
Responsible for capturing the beauty of Isabelle Mathers in the crystal blue waters of Hamilton Island, and stunning Natalie Sole against the dramatic landscapes of New Zealand - Libby resonates creativity and is shaping her own incredible path from behind the lens.
This series is called The Shapers, how is it that you are shaping your own creative path?
I think for a little while I was kind of only shooting what my clients wanted and was being led by trends with no strong direction but now that I’m older and have much more experience I am finding confidence in the way I like to shoot and merging that with my clients’ expectations. I also have an exciting new project in the works so watch this space!
What motivated you to start photography?
I always knew that I wanted to be a photographer and was always playing with my grandfather’s and my father’s old cameras. In grade eleven at school I started taking a film photography class in which we solely worked with B&W film and I guess that made me realise that it was something I wanted to do all the time.
How did you know that photography was the right path for you?
I knew it was the right path because it was the only thing I wanted to do. I considered many other things like architecture, interior design, music, but none of them felt right and required too much effort, where photography was just a natural part of my life.
How would you describe your style of imagery?
I think my imagery is quite feminine and polished and I aim for each shoot to have an editorial feel.
How do your photos reflect you as a person and your values?
I really don’t like dishonesty or insincerity so I do think that those values are reflected in my work. I keep the retouching on my photos to the minimum and I really like for the subjects’ personality to come through and for things to happen naturally, rather than me try and push a model to do something or create an unnatural space.
Have you always been a creative?
Yes, I have a strong background in music and I also was a dancer since I was very young right up until my early twenties. My parents are also very creative - my dad is a very talented painter, drawer and musician and my mum has magic hands when it comes to food and she is very clever with the sewing machine!
Now, tell us what is something we don’t know about you?
I can say most words backwards - I taught myself to do it quickly when I was younger!
Where might we catch you on a Sunday morning?
Usually having a coffee with my husband and throwing shells into the sea for my puppy to ‘retrieve’ (his favourite game) in front of our place in Miami!
Your imagery consistently incorporates the outdoors, do you draw inspiration from the landscape around you?
Yes, I like to ensure that I incorporate the features that define whichever location I’m shooting in. For example, when we shot in Mexico I made sure that each photo had a truely ‘Mexican’ feeling about it so it didn’t come across and just any beach location
What are your three favourite experiences from behind the lens?
1. Capturing beautiful Natalie Sole doing her thing in front of dramatic backdrops in Queenstown, NZ.
2. Brooke Perry glistening with sea water emerging from the sparkling Mexican ocean onto our little boat
3. Splashing around in the pristine waters of Whitehaven Beach with Isabelle Mathers and trying to keep my camera dry!
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started?
How difficult it is to keep yourself motivated when you run your own business, and also managing your money!!
What would be your advice to others looking to pursue a career in photography?
Make sure it’s definitely something you want to do with your life and that you really love it, because it isn’t easy to support yourself for the first couple of years and it’s also a very competitive industry to try and get ahead. You really need a strong support network of other creatives around you and I would even suggest a mentor for business because usually if you’re creative you’re not the most business minded.
Lastly, what does capturing a moment in time mean to you?
It means that I get to look back and be proud of what I’ve achieved since that moment, reflect on where I was in my life at that time and the people who were around me, appreciate the incredible teams I get to work with daily who challenge me and are vital in my images coming together. I like that I have captured a little piece of history, and a little piece of a story, and that I’m the only person in the world who was there at that time, in that moment, to see what I saw that I thought was worth capturing.
Follow Libby | @libbywillisphoto
Libby’s work | www.elisabethwillis.com