We had the pleasure of catching up with Izzie to chat about her life and work.
What is your star sign?
What do you like to eat for breakfast?
At the moment I like to start these cold mornings with a bowl of porridge with almond milk, cinnamon, and stewed berries... Along with a cup of tea of course.
I have the sweetest, albeit slightly crazy cat. Her name is Lola. She's white, blue eyed, and fluffy. She's deaf and likes to sleep in odd places. e.g. the laundry sink (while the cold tap is running), on a drum kit/guitar amp (while it's being played).
Introvert or Extrovert?
Introvert. Outgoing when I need to be.
What inspires you?
So many things. Simple things. Fog on a window, changing of the seasons, reflections in puddles, long car rides. The vastness of the ocean. Taking a different route home, and discovering new places. The incredibly talented and lovely people I've met. Time passing. The feeling of longing and nostalgia. Late nights when my mind wanders to things more complex, like the infinite nature of the universe. Deep conversations and honest words. The fullness of life and all it encompasses.
How did you get into photography?
Gradually, through a combination of factors.
I've always wanted to tell stories - whether it be make-believe, or to retain and unravel an emotion I'd felt so intensely - usually through poetry, or songwriting. But as much as I tried, I felt as though I was never all that good at writing things as I saw them in my head - or as strong as they felt in the moment they pulsed through me. When I discovered that I could capture those things with a camera, I felt like my imagination could finally be freed. I began trying capture the essence of a place, or an emotion, or the adventures of a character that I had created, all through my images. Photography also became an outlet for me to capture the moments most precious to me. I am obsessed with documenting the fleeting. The present, the honest moments, the quiet ones... The moments that pass by so easily unnoticed, and the feelings that go along with them. I want to capture all that happens so as I do not forget.
When I was little, my dad would surprise my sister and I by placing gifts in the top drawers of our dresser. Only little things, like $2 coins to spend at the dollar store, or kinder surprise chocolate. One day I opened the drawer to find a disposable camera. I photographed everything I saw in the days following. I remember photographing out the window of my dads little red car - a dog on the sidewalk, a house that looked like it was made of ginger bread. I still have those prints. I was given various disposable cameras since then, always using them up too quickly.
When I was about thirteen I'd take photos on my families sony digital point and shoot. Wherever I went, that camera was with me. I remember a butterfly landing on the inside of my bedroom window, and spending 20 or so minutes trying to get a good shot of it. I would dress my friends up and we'd take photos in my overgrown yard, chasing the light until it was really low and golden, 30 minutes before sundown. I didn't really know what I was doing, but we were having fun.
Then I started to collect old analog cameras from second hand stores, I would study the manuals and figure out how all of the parts worked. It wasn't until I was sixteen, in year 12 that I could finally take a photography class in high school, and my mum spent the little money we had buying me a 'proper' DSLR camera, which I vowed to use daily. Holding that camera in my hands for the first time gave me more fierce determination and passion than I'd felt before. 4 months later I had a small selection of my photos published in a magazine and soon photographed the runway of WFW and NZFW, talking to and learning from those around me. I continue to fuel my passion with every idea that I jot into my notebook, awaiting creation.
You appear both behind and in front of the camera. Do you have a preference?
Behind. I like being able to help bring other people's ideas to life as well, though. I sometimes take self portraits when I have an idea that I have to shoot in that precise moment, if the light or the weather is a particular way, and nobody else is available. Self portraiture is also a way for me to connect with my surroundings.
Do you ever feel scared of sharing your work with others?
Always! I share my photos with the hope that other people can relate to them in some way - to comfort them, or inspire them... A powerful image is one that makes people feel something. I think to do that there needs to be honesty. Much of what I create is quite personal in some way or another, so naturally I do get nervous, but it all comes with the territory. I'm learning that criticism will only help me grow as an artist.
You can check out Izzie's beautiful imagery at www.izzieaustin.com