Lesson II: Manny Librodo & a bit of David LaChapelle

Photography Classes Online – Icon Photography School Forums Photography Lessons Lesson 2 Lesson II: Manny Librodo & a bit of David LaChapelle

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    A few photographers have inspired my art & it took a moment of reflection for me to pick one. I embrace unconventionality & boldness which was why I was tied between David LaChapelle & Manny Librodo. Both are really good in utilizing colors & amplifying characters in photographs but their styles are worlds apart. I love LaChapelle’s provocative & witty images as well as Librodo’s pioneering technique in creating beauty. Unfortunately, Lachapelle’s style can get way too prop-intensive & mad (not to mention sensual!) for my preference. Librodo on the other hand, requires nothing more than reflectors, good makeup & exotic locations. Thus, for NOW, my style & especially my touching up technique are inclined towards Librodo’s.

    Librodo’s shot of Sofie from Amsterdam struck me as stunning, surreal & beautiful. I love how the concept amplifies the ‘WOW’ factor through grotesqueness. It makes the whole photo more eye-catching & definitely more memorable. The protruding ribs & a heel pressed against the wall are themselves statements against the conventional beauty & elegance. You really don’t need a title or caption for the photo. In the genre of glamor, this photo is a breath of fresh air which broadens my vision. Perhaps, this is similar to religious enlightenment! In the near future, I want to recreate something similar but with an intensified mysterious atmosphere which is my trademark. 🙂

    What I truly appreciate in many of Librodo’s works is the creation of ‘raceless’ beautiful women placed in dramatic sceneries. What do I mean by ‘raceless’? Well, it’s literally people whose appearances don’t reveal their respective ethnicities. Librodo does so by getting his models to wear color contact lenses & applying exaggerated makeup which he will then further alter in Photoshop. The result is what I call, bounderless & timeless beauty. Some may call this weird but I call it equality. With facial features so foreign to any race, nobody can identify with them. I believe this arouses curiosity & understanding, allowing better appreciation of the subject’s charm without discrimination. Besides these, Librodo’s emphasis on heavily touched up backgrounds highlights the subjects & makes the whole image three-dimensional. To put it simply, Librodo is able to make beauty burst out of the image, rapidly engulfing the viewer’s vision & kindling a sense of awe. I admire this ingenuity in him & I will strive my best to ‘Librodize’ my own technique. But I will never imitate him. One Manny Librodo is enough, two Manny Librodos is redundancy.

    I respect Manny Librodo for daring to venture away from the mainstream & popularizing melodramatic yet elegant photographs. After spending so many years in the rigid education system subscribing to conventionality, I finally can spread my wings wide & free. Really, I find photography as the perfect platform to express my rather ‘different’ perceptions & visions. One day, after I am well attuned with nonconformity, I will perhaps create over-the-top eccentric art like LaChapelle’s. 😀

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi there,

    Thanks for sending in another assignment. The first two assignments are really about getting you to think about photography in a different light so to speak. In this assignment in particular it’s about getting you to take a moment to think about what inspires you.

    All forms of art are additive and work from what has come before. It’s like what Picasso said:

    Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal

    In photography it’s much the same. You can effectively “steal” the visual ideas of the masters of photography. I know when I shoot a landscape I have a bunch of photographers in the back of my mind. I remember what made their photographs work and what made them, well, not work.

    In your case you’ve shown that you have a remarkably clear idea of what inspires you in photography. This is excellent and your piece is very good. The main thing is to know what has come before and to work from that as your base. Take what you think works and jettison the rest and make your own way. Stand on the shoulders of giants if you will.

    Nice work here!



    I appreciate your compliment. Thank you 🙂 & the quote is an eye-opener. I always thought that you HAVE to be unique, find a different style to be make a mark as an artist. I’m enlightened again! Thanks again 😯

    Duncan Rawlinson


    I’m so happy that you’re getting good value out of the course.

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