PHOTOGRAPHY: An Interview with Liz Winterstorm

Liz Winterstorm has been in SL for 7 years and a member of Flickr photo community since 2013. Her artwork spans the sensual, the artistic, the abstract as well as whimsical, creating beautiful and unique color, light and shadows.

Seline: Hi, Liz! It’s so nice to meet you and spend time looking through your photographic work. The images you put together have a very unique feel and look to them. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Liz: Hi, Seline! So nice to meet you, too. A lot of the time my mood of the moment comes into play, I can’t seem to take a picture that doesn’t fit with how I feel. I love poses so I put a lot of effort into finding a pose that represents how I feel and go from there.

Seline: What is one thing you wish you knew when you first started with SL photography?

Liz: Everything! Seriously… I’m completely self-taught and early on I found out I don’t have a lot of patience for learning, so I’ve never watched tutorials. I’m sure that could have gone a long way to making it easier. But a big one for me was derendering. How to simplify a scene by just making things go away.

Seline: Among your work, which is your favorite or means a great deal to you?

Liz: The one that means the most to me is ‘The Story of My Life.’ It’s a very personal photo and a special moment with Vrir.

Seline: Do you have any favorite Windlight settings?

Liz: I absolutely love windlights and I spend so much time searching for the right one for each scene. For me, it’s one of the most important parts of a photograph… along with the pose and the angle. I use the [TOR]Big Sun set of windlights a lot and [TOR]Sunrise, Chernoble is one of my favorites. I tend to use a lot of sunrise and sunset windlights. I like the glow a low sun can create.

Seline: What is the most interesting thing you have learned about yourself that you would not have known if it weren’t for SL?

Liz: I know a lot of people say that in Second Life you can be whoever you want to be, but what I’ve found is that it’s enabled me to be who I truly am. I’ve found a voice to express myself that I never would have if not for Second Life. Before I found SL I felt I had a creativity inside me but no way to let it out, and when I found SL and then started blogging I never thought photography would become a passion of mine. But it has.

Seline: What is your favorite thing to do in SL aside from photography?

Liz: The time spent with my partner, Vrir is always incredible and never seems long enough. But when he’s not in-world, I like taking in live music, particularly Jack Slade, who’s one of my favorites. I’ve recently started working for Elle Boutique, which I’m really excited about. I keep busy, bringing Elle coffee and rubbing her feet, plus I’ve been known to screw-up and make her life a little more difficult. Overall, it’s lots of fun! And of course, I’m on my pose stand a lot, just looking at myself.

Seline: What is the wildest, most insane, or weirdest thing you have ever seen in Second Life?

Liz: Hmm, wild, insane or weird… That can sum up any given day in SL. I know we’ve all seen a guy with his junk outside his pants so that’s almost mundane now. Early on in my SL, my sister and I put ourselves through a wood chipper. We laughed like crazy as our avatars were spewed out in chunks!

Seline: What does a perfect day or moment in SL look like for you?

Liz: The perfect moment for me has always been to sit looking out on a sunset, whether on a beach or somewhere flat with a big sky. The Hazardous sim comes to mind. I really miss that place. I’ve always enjoyed the serenity and peace a sunset can bring, in Second Life and real life.

Seline: And finally, how has TSFTG affected your SL?

Liz: At first, TSFTG was only a group on Flickr that I could post my photos to and keep up to date with other photographers, which I’ll add, is a really great group of photographers! Then I took in an event, which isn’t common for me, being an extreme introvert. I usually stay home and work. But, I ventured out to one of the exhibit openings and really liked the atmosphere. The art was incredible, but for me what’s more important is that I felt welcome and comfortable among the crowd. It’s great to meet some of the photographers that I’ve been following on Flickr for so long and being around creative people is always inspiring. To be a part of something that’s as accepting and encouraging as this group is, is important for me. I believe we’re all here to help lift each other up.