All Articles
All Articles

Interview with Photographer Liz Wolfe


Interview with Photographer Liz Wolfe

by CH Contributor
on 31 July 2009

by Alison Zavos for Feature Shoot


Born in the Canadian prairies, Liz Wolfe studied photography at Ryerson University's School of Image Arts in Toronto. In 2009, she exhibited her work at the Architecture + Design Museum (Los Angeles), the Gladstone Hotel (Toronto) and Project Basho Gallery (Philadelphia). Liz currently lives in Toronto.

You must get some really fun commissions considering the nature of your work. What are some of the more interesting projects you have been asked to photograph?
One of the most amusing projects I've done was for Chronicle Books. They commissioned me to shoot an entire book of Peeps-themed recipes and crafts. I had never heard of marshmallow Peeps, I knew nothing about the obsessive Peeps fan culture that exists in America, I had no idea how simultaneously hilarious and surreal life could get.


And when I awoke, as if from a nightmare, to find myself crouched on the floor, covered in a stickiness that can not be removed with domestic cleaning products, my arms coated in sugar, my fingers placing a miniature veil ever-so-gently on the head of a marshmallow chick bride, preparing her for her imminent role as one half of a wedding cake topper, I finally understood what people mean when they say you never know where photography will take you.

How much of your work evolves from experimentation and how much is carefully thought out from the beginning?
I only experiment in the pre-production stage, never during shooting. Occasional scenarios have arisen in which I've altered elements of the photograph slightly during shooting, but these situations are extremely rare. Typically, everything is sketched out, color-coded and planned in advance. I know exactly what the final photograph is going to look like before I start shooting. And I mean exactly! (Not just because I'm a control freak, but also because I like to shoot on film and I try to keep my shooting ratio as low as possible.)


Though I have incredible respect for people who take full advantage of photography's inherently spontaneous qualities, for me, photography is not a spontaneous medium. It is a recording device and very little else; the most practical way for me to translate the images from my mind into reality.

A lot of your work is available for sale through your site. What made you decide to sell your work in this way and is this proving to be lucrative?
I sell inexpensive open edition prints through my site; it's not lucrative, but it's the best way to keep things accessible so people have an affordable option for purchasing work. It's important to me, to have photographs for people who would love something for their walls, but have no interest in exclusivity or collecting art in the traditional sense.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me
Loading More...