Lucia Griggi is a California-based photographer who has traveled Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, South Africa among many other places for her assignments and personal work. She hopes her images will inspire in others what she has found in herself: a desire to travel, have adventures and learn and experience different cultures. She wants to see the world and capture it in a way that will encourage others to follow their passions and make their dreams become a reality.
When & how did you first discover your passion for photography?
I developed my passion for photography by doing it for myself. I started documenting my travels from New Zealand to Morocco. People began to notice my images and I started selling from there.
Where did you first learn about Lensbaby? What was your first Lensbaby lens, and what lens or optic is currently your favorite?
I’d always see people shooting with them and I was intrigued. On a road trip for a book publishing company, from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State to San Diego recently, I met up with Keith (from Lensbaby) in Portland. I was fascinated by the lenses. He lent me some and I fell in love immediately with them. My current favorites are the Soft Focus and the Edge 80 optics. I took one up to the Smith River in Oregon. It was pouring rain. Overcast. Storm clouds and bleakness was all around. I shot down the river and between the mist, rain and the soft focus lens, the shot came out very moody and surreal.
How often do you use Lensbaby in your professional client work? How do your clients tend to feel about the Lensbaby images vs the straight lens images?
I use Lensbaby lenses in my editorial work and in my travel, surf and skate pieces. I use the Edge 80 most often in those environments. Clients are really impressed with the results of the lenses. The images are very different and fascinating. They always say, “Keep shooting and providing these images.”
You recently served as an expedition photographer on a winter adventure to photograph famous surfers – can you tell us a bit about that experience?
From January 15-February 4th, I traveled from virtually the Canadian border and all the way down to San Diego to shoot some incredible surfing portraits. Gerry Lopez, Bruce Brown and Greg Noll are some of the surfers. We accumulated over 7000 images and spent $3000 on gas, food and lodging. I was so impressed with the lenses that I shot virtually all my portraits with the Soft Focus and Edge 80 optics. Between the phenomenal landscape, national parks, the lenses and shooting, it was a trip to remember.
You just returned from a trip to Mexico where you photographed more surfers and some skateboarders. What was that trip like? Did you shoot many Lensbaby images?
Well, I enjoy shooting skateboarding with the Edge 80 lens as skaters usually hit one part of the lip so I can set my focal point and obtain a quality image. There is a manmade concrete bowl in a surfer’s backyard down in Baja, Mexico. Tony Alva and Ozzie went over and rode it. It is a very private place and no photographers have been allowed to shoot there. The owners gave me permission and the images are awesome. We also went to the school of a talented female surfer who is a schoolteacher by trade. We were in her third grade class and I took portraits and lifestyle images. I used the soft focus lens. It is great for inside with ambient light and no direct sunlight. It gives a nice skin tone especially when shooting portraits or lifestyle.
Any tips for photographers new to Lensbaby, manual focus, etc?
When using soft focus lens, it is good to use in flat light where there is no contrast or direct sunlight. It is great for giving atmosphere. This lens gives a film-like look to the images. The Edge 80 is really beautiful and gives great results as well. Set focus on the subject, and know where you want the focal point to be as it’s a small margin.
To see more of Lucia’s work, visit her site here.