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Woman to Watch: Andy LeBarge, Photographer

"Topographic West" by Andy LeBarge

Andy LeBarge is a nature and landscape photographer. She finds beauty in the outside world, and captures it on camera through her many adventures in the United States. Check out her blog, or her recently launched Etsy store, for a quick trip through visual wanderlust.

Give us the lowdown: your name, where you’re from and what you do.

My name is Andy LeBarge and I grew up in Lee, New Hampshire. I take photos for the adventurer within.

Andy LeBarge is a nature and landscape photographer who captures wanderlust in her powerful imagery.

Andy LeBarge is a nature and landscape photographer who captures wanderlust in her powerful imagery.

Tell us about your photography.

My photography is all about capturing the spirit of a particular place and the essence of the adventure that brought me to that place. I did not start to really take photos until I began to travel by myself. I loved how within each photo every tiny detail of that moment could be permanently recorded. The beauty of the entire experience could be remembered, whether it be the wild weather, a melody playing in my head, or the thoughts passing through my mind as I looked out into the world. While my experience of that moment cannot ever be known completely, I try to translate the feeling and emotion of each moment through my photography.

So many of your photos are of landscapes. What is it about natural settings that speak to you?

I grew up with the ocean at my feet and the mountains just within reach. I love the outdoors. I focus on natural settings because I become restless indoors, and outdoors there are new things to see on the same path with each visit. The feeling I get from venturing out on a path with just my camera has me wide-eyed and alert. I’m awake. Each moment is unique and seemingly more beautiful than the one before as I become in tune to the changing light, elongating shadows, and the angles and curves in the landscape around me. I begin to see the world in stills.

What made you decide to open up your own photography venture? How’s it going so far?

I have become more passionate about photography over the past year and thought it would be a good challenge to create a photo blog and to try to sell some of my work on Etsy. I thought this would be a good way to make my photos available to a wider audience and to get feedback on my work. I am motivated when I see other local photographers work in galleries and shops, and would love to see one of my photos hanging up on a wall somewhere for people to enjoy. I am having a lot of fun with my venture thus far, because it gives me that extra push to keep learning and to get outside more. I have sold several pieces and will also have my work hanging up for sale in a local coffee shop this month, which is very exciting!

"Topographic West" by Andy LeBarge

“Topographic West” by Andy LeBarge

What inspires you? Answer this however you’d like.

I grew up in a very passionate and creative family and as a result have gained a wealth of inspiration and confidence from the people in my life. The walls in my grandmother’s house were completely covered, floor to ceiling, with her paintings. I was literally surrounded by art as a child. Much of my inspiration has come from those who have continually encouraged me, and from those who have taught me to see magnificence in any moment, and to find beauty in unexpected places. I looked in admiration and awe at the work of others and the stories created by their photos, and wanted to be able to capture moments and hold onto them just as they occurred for me.

When I go on a photo adventure I am inspired by music. Music is what makes my heart tick and I really feel it when I’m out there taking pictures. The music in my mind sets the mood and the tone of the moments captured, and thoughts reveal themselves as I walk a trail trying to look more closely into my surroundings. The most inspiring thing perhaps is to be able to feel the wind against my skin, breathe in the scent of that place, and see the landscape change before my eyes.

What do you want women around the world to know about you and what you’re doing?

Emotion and feeling are contagious. If you share something beautiful with someone that feeling will emanate through them to others. I hope that my photos stir something inside you and help you to see the beauty in your own surroundings, wherever that may be. Find inspiration in your life to fuel your passion and spread beauty throughout the world. With a little encouragement and support you can accomplish a lot.

Beth Santos
Founder and CEO of Wanderful, creator of the Women in Travel Summit, enthusiastic lover of ice cream, picnics and art.

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