Disruption of Peace: An Exclusive Interview With Xavier Luggage
Hey! My name is Xavier Luggage. My last name is irrelevant lol. I’m from Chile but I live in LA. I don’t know if I “decided” to start my photography journey. I think it just happened and I didn’t question it, I just went head on with everything I had. But I started photography late 2016.
You have a very specific style of photography that uses forced depth perception, flash, and very vivid and bold colors. You create your own world through your photographs and are a pioneer in your craft. How would you describe your style of photography and was there any specific inspiration that influenced your signature style?
I would describe my style as raw, unique and refreshing. I think what mostly influenced my style was the life I was living at the time. I was living in Miami, a very colorful sunny place. Partying a lot so I would see a lot of raw content. And my talented friends who are always ahead of the curve in art, inspired me the most. I never really looked into other photographers for inspiration until someone told me my photos looked like David Lachapelle and ever since then I’ve tried to learn by looking at his photos. It is clear you form a narrative for each of your shoots. Where and how do you gain inspiration for each concept you create? What emotions or feelings do you attempt to bring out in your audience when they view your work?
A lot of my inspiration comes from the life I’m living and the things that are happening around me. I don’t care for a specific feeling that I can bring out of my audience as long as it brings them out that’s good with me. I enjoy doing controversial photoshoots because it brings out the insecurity in people and sometimes they get angry at the image they’re looking at. But isn't it beautiful to see people have a reaction to your art?
Do you recall the first photograph that you captured that made you fall in love with your craft and feel like you really had what it takes to be the photographer that you are today?
Yeah, it was a picture of my little brother Zahiro, he was my go-to model because I didn’t have any models I can hit up like I do now. So me and him would just take pictures with different concepts and from there I built the love for it. But also taking pictures of my friends was always a blast. You have worked with some very influential and incredible models in the industry such as Winnie Harlow, Taylor White, Makayla London, and Autumn Jacobson. Do you have any memorable moments from your shoots that you would like to share?
You know, there’s too many memorable moments in all my shoots to recall one. I think the most memorable moments are when it feels like a genuine connection between us and we create some amazing images that excite both of us. My favorite is when the model is down for my crazy idea. What does photography mean to you and what’s your main goal with your art?
Photography is everything to me. It surrounds my life and the way I live it. I experience everything visually, even listening to music makes me think of how I can translate the way the song makes me feel into a photo. It’s kind of sick when you start viewing the world like that, I can spot a good location or a person who could potentially be a model because my eyes are adjusted to that. My main goal with my art is to show everything that isn’t common. To show the American society that not everything is perfect and beautiful how it’s shown online. And that’s what I like to show.
What advice would you give to artists starting out in the industry?
Do whatever the fuck you want. Work every single day, don’t worry about what the next person is doing. Stay focused and consistent. And just because you take photos doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work. There’s always someone more hungry than you that’s working harder than you. You gotta step it up and invest your time into your craft. Nobody will like your work until everyone does. Don’t give up too soon it takes time.
What equipment do you use when you shoot (camera make, lenses, etc.) What does your editing process look like? Do you listen to a type of music, have a specific routine, edit at a specific time in the day? How long after a shoot do you start the editing? How do you know when your photo is “good to go” to share with the world?
I don’t like to talk about my equipment. But my editing process is sitting on my couch, listen to music, and just do it. Very relaxing process. But also could get tedious sometimes. I don’t listen to a specific type of music but music definitely inspired my art. I like weird shit like what my pictures show. I usually start editing within a few days, it takes me a week max to turn in the photos. I know when a photo is good to go from the moment I take it. I start jumping around excitement and I say shit like “we gonna break the internet with this one!” Lol
Is there anything else you would like to share with us from your personal or professional life? Do you have any other goals or aspirations outside of photography?
I’d like to share that I’m an immigrant from Chile. I’d like to inspire kids that are also immigrant, that had to learn English, that had to adjust their culture and their way of living to be in this country. To show them that us being here we can do anything we want and become successful as long as we work hard. If I did it you can do it too. Chase any dream, you already made it this far. No goals or aspirations outside of photography. When I started photography I told myself I wasn’t gonna have a plan B because that meant I didn’t fully believe in plan A. I put all my eggs in one basket and I gave my 100% to photography. Maybe that’s not good advice but that’s just what I did.
Photography by Xavier Luggage
Interviewed by Sierra Stone