Life as a Travel Photographer in a Pandemic

Amanda Villarosa is a Filipina American, Southern California-born, brooklyn-based travel, lifestyle, and hospitality photographer. Her work emboldens diverse communities, showcases creatively designed spaces, and tells stories of destinations at home and abroad.

With the bulk of her work revolving around international travel, the pandemic marks a major shift in how Villarosa works. This includes how she photographs, takes on assignments, and thinks about her career. Beyond using this time to recalibrate, she’s working on a new project highlighting women of color in the creative industry.

The Luupe speaks with Villarosa to learn more.

How to Photograph Rockstars and Help Emerging Artists

Michelle Grace Hunder on how she energizes music photography and helps up-and-coming photographers up their name, game, and skills.

Michelle Grace Hunder has spent the past decade building a rich career in music photography. She captures compelling live photos and portraits of musicians like Ruel, Lauryn Hill, Greta Ray, Nas, Kehlani, Post Malone, and countless others. In 2018, this branched into her critically acclaimed Her Sound Her Story, a four-year multimedia project focusing on women in Australian music.

Hunder’s work stands out in an otherwise saturated genre through her attention to the psychological force behind light and color, which she uses to communicate energy and empathy.

Her success inspires her to mentor other emerging photographers through her highly trafficked workshops which she live streams three times a week on Twitch.

We catch up and speak about her career, how she’s pivoted from live music in the wake of social distancing, and what keeps her going.

These Photos Illustrate The Bubble Of Quarantined Life

Photographers Rickett & Sones’ new series “Self Contained” captures quarantined Los Angeles in a metaphoric (and literal!) bubble.

Quarantine has left us all feeling increasingly isolated and self-contained. Shortly after it began, photographer duo Sonia Oñate Rickett and Ryan Rickett aka Rickett & Sones responded to this sense of unease and frustration by making portraits of their friends in California, framed inside reflective glass bubbles. The couple pairs each portrait with questions about living under quarantine and what each person is doing to maintain their sanity. Their subjects include the diverse cultures and professions that make up Los Angeles.

While Rickett & Sones’ portraits and people are real, the bubbles are virtual. After the initial shoot, they create realistic, painstakingly crafted 3D bubbles with reflections and refractions that look like the real thing. Far from a one-liner or technological trick, Rickett & Sones’ photos go deep. They speak to our shared and incredibly varied experiences of social isolation, with a healthy dose of humor and optimism.

We spoke with Rickett & Sones to learn more about their experience, the process behind their work, and how they’re holding up.

This Illustration Campaign is Firing Us Up to Vote

Paola Parsons’ 50 days of Voting illustration campaign combines smart, voting-positive messages with beautiful images.

In late September, a simple yet powerful illustration popped up in our Instagram scroll.
The letters V O T E in red blue, yellow, and pink on a black background with a heart in place of the letter O.

The image was created by Santa Cruz-based illustrator, letterer, and former copywriter Paola Parsons in honor of her brother’s 25th birthday. “I wished him a happy birthday and jokingly said that he should give himself the gift of double-checking his voter registration.” To Parsons’ dismay, her brother hadn’t registered.

This fired up Parsons’ ongoing “50 Days of Voting” – an illustration campaign celebrating the urgency of voting. While the campaign hasn’t gone full-viral (yet), it’s caught the eyes of celebrities and influencers like Jennifer Grey and Kate Hudson, who shared her images on Instagram.

With less than two weeks until the US Presidential election, we caught up with Parsons to learn more about the project, her ongoing activism, and her penchant for marrying great copy with great design.