I have been counting the minutes from the day we did this interview to share it with you. Liana Louzon, world-renowned photographer (lianalouzon.com) and jewelry designer and owner of Rocking Vibe (rockingvibe.com) is the definition of the word visionary. The way she sees and captures the world and the beauty within it is beyond inspiring. Her work is published in Oxygen Magazine and just about every fitness publication you can think of.
In today's Live Your Freedom TV, Ep. 11, Liana shares the story of leaving Russia at age 14 with nothing more than a suitcase, to move to Canada and begin a new life with her mother. She learned at a young age that taking huge risks to follow her intuition was the most direct way to experience true joy.
The birth of her jewelry line, Rocking Vibe, was a result of a lifetime passion and saying yes to a big dream. And Liana has a gift for a lucky viewer...details about the contest are shared at the end of the interview!
Click below to watch the full interview:
The Rocking Vibe Credo:
I let my heart beat bold and wild I never settle, a fierce child. My spirit is unchained, soul set on its course. I am a passionate, fearless force.
AMBER: Hello, and welcome to Live Your Freedom TV. I am so, so, so excited to interview and introduce today's amazing and talented guest, Liana Louzon, who is a world-renowned photographer and also a jewelry designer of Rocking Vibe jewelry design. I can't wait to get into that with you today. You are a wife, you are a momma, you are an artist, you are a soul sister. I am so excited to have you here today. Thank you, Liana.
LIANA: Thank you so much for having me.
AMBER: You are welcome. So, I was reading through your websites and as I said to you before we started I was up really late because I was getting lost in the vortex of all your beautiful work and then I went on the jewelry site and it was midnight, so I said all right you've to go to bed. You have to get up and interview early tomorrow morning. I was reading through some of the things that you were writing and it just really resonated for me with the work that I do with my clients in branding and helping them really access their truth and show up in their brands and business as their whole selves. Of course, you have a line on your about page talking about how your goal is to capture the whole person in your work. I really want you to just kind of share with me your philosophy behind your work and what your goal is when you get on set with a client and you have the camera and you are going.
LIANA: I think when I talk about the whole person is that when you look at the pictures, as an artist, a picture is actually worth more than a thousand words. You can move people to tears just by looking at a picture. It tells a whole story. So, when you look at a picture of a person I want to show them who that person is, so the authenticity behind just the pixels. A lot of times it takes a little while to bring that out and to have the person connect with the camera and when they connect and when they show that energy by looking at the pictures you can feel either motivated or inspired, whatever the message of who that person is, it is really, really cool. So, with every picture that’s the ultimate goal, is to make it matter and to make it have a purpose.
AMBER: And to tell the story, right?
AMBER: To really allow them to jump off the page or the screen.
AMBER: To make that connection with the view. I love that. And as a branding coach and as someone who really focuses around branding, it is so incredibly important that the photography is so vital in really illustrating and bringing your brand to life. We have a lot of viewers here that are newer into their entrepreneurial journeys, just like the niche of the women that you photograph in your fitness photography. It's like you are on this journey and you are trying to capture yourself where you are right now but you're anxious about what that is going to translate into. And then the other part is like oh my gosh, I really look like that, that’s really me. So, just the psychology being the model. Could you give a little counseling, I guess, would be the word?
LIANA: It is really interesting because on set you have models come in and have certain expectations. They have ideas that they want to portray and imitate. That is when I am like okay, well this is a great idea, but let's build it and make it your own. A lot of the time people look at what's trending and who's popular and they are like, I want that image. But, I kind of steer them in the direction saying create your own image. What do you stand for? What do you portray? What are your values? What are your goals? What is your message? And with that we will build on that and I will get them to think of things when they are in front of my lens. So, what do you want to tell with this image? Do you want to tell people to own it? Do you want them to feel like you can do this too? Or to not wait any longer and go for it? Like whatever you want to say with that image, let's build that, let's create that. And then we will go over the images, they will be like I really like this one because it looks like Lindsay Messina. But this one looks exactly like you and then they will be like, but I don’t like the way I look here, I don't like the way look I here… and then I say this is you.
AMBER: Yeah, I love that. I was watching an interview and you talk about raw images. So, tell me more about that.
LIANA: That's so important because I feel especially being a mom, I feel in a way a social responsibility on me and I want to show people that it is more authentic, it is more real, it is more rewarding to put the truth out there and to show people the reality instead of Photoshopping the skin, trimming love handles or whatever it is, acceptance and knowing that you are being authentic is what's important. On set it is almost like a discovery session as well.
LIANA: I am discovering who the person is and they are also realizing, you are right, this is what I want to stand for and maybe they had an idea of doing these more sexy or risque images and then they realize, you know what? That’s not my brand and you know what, this is my brand. A lot of the times I will talk with them before we come on set. What is the final message? In two sentences describe to me what you want people to get from the image. It is like being an artist. You build that on set. You create that with the moods, with the light, with the fan. Of course, you are still creating it but you are making it authentic. There are still tricks to make it look this way and that way. It is still a creation but instead of creating perfection, you are creating authenticity.
AMBER: I love it. There is so much. So, I think it's truly about healing too. Because you are allowing someone to really celebrate themselves and you are empowering them. You hold the role as the artist and the photographer to also sort of be like an empowerment coach in a lot of ways to build them up and reflect back and show them their beauty and say look what's here. Look how beautiful you are.
LIANA: Right. For sure and also kind of understand what they want to represent. Because a lot of times you will see in the media what is targeting and marketing us. It is a little bit skewed. It's not, it's just a pretty image and the girl looks perfect and happy or whatever it is but it is not ?????6.40. There is no great purpose for that.
AMBER: It is actually unoriginal at this point in time.
LIANA: Exactly. It is kind of boring. It doesn't mean a lot to the person who represents it. So, you know, a lot of the times when they get that image that is exactly who they are and who they stand for, they are so much more comfortable in representing themselves and putting it out there and being like, you know what, this is my message and then the message becomes so much more powerful. Because they are creating themselves as a brand, as a person. They have a message. There is a reason why they are putting themselves out there. They want people to see them. And then the message is that much more powerful.
AMBER: Yes and I love the idea of give me two sentences that captures what you want to embody in this image and who you really want to be in your brand and that is beautiful simpatico between, that is exactly the work that I do with my clients and why it is so important to have photographers like yourself that understand that and can guide and coach clients to that place, to really let go and really step into their power.
AMBER: It is beautiful. I love that. So, this is a deep question, your soul's purpose, right and how, because you are a living, breathing example of how the work that you are doing in the world, the expansion, the growth, all the things that you are doing, all of these roles, mom, wife, designer, artist. How has that allowed you to really step into being Liana and who you truly are?
LIANA: You know what? I am still discovering myself. This whole process has helped me more than anybody else. Picking up the camera and playing and figuring out what I want to photograph and what fulfills me and every day it is changing. Like I said, I have a 4-year-old daughter who is growing up and it is really important to me to make sure that she can see any piece of my work. I don’t what her to see a perfect Photoshop image that maybe makes the cover of the most amazing magazine because it is a perfect image but then for her to see it and be like Mommy, I don’t look like that. Is this what pretty is?
LIANA: As she is growing up I am evolving, right? The most exciting part for me is not really what I am putting out there but how it is helping me become who I am and discover what I can do, what difference can I make, how can I help people and how awesome it feels to rally know who I am.
LIANA: At the end of the day, what I am going to be doing two years from now may not be what I am doing now. And still I am searching every day with every image, with every client, I am discovering and it is amazing. This whole process. I cannot really say that this is what I do because it is always evolving.
AMBER: Yeah, I love that! There is no finish line.
AMBER: This is a journey. When you are truly doing your soul's work though and you are honoring what's coming through and you are doing that work in the world and allowing yourself to get the messages and continue to just make decisions. Okay, well then this is the next thing I am going to do then that's when all the goodness is truly happening and I see that in what is happening in your life and your brand. I love that you are really sharing with the audience that it is not about knowing exactly what it is you want to do every minute of the day, it's that we are always discovering and just unfurling into what our destiny is as you said before we started recording. I love that. And, I think the other piece that I am so inspired by as a mom of a little girl myself, is the integrity piece and that you are walking your talk and really tuning in and staying aligned with the mother you want to be. This role model for your little girl and helping her understand how she is going to grow up in this world. That is beautiful.
LIANA: That's important.
AMBER: It totally is. I just want to give our viewers a glimpse. It is enough to say go to the website yourself but I want to show them live and in color, and if you want to comment on anything what I show here, feel free to do that. I just want to show some of your work because I am just so enthralled with what you capture and the skill. I mean, like, hello? It is just beautiful. You are published in Oxygen magazine, and pretty much every fitness magazine, right?
LIANA: Definitely, fitness is my niche.
AMBER: Right, beautiful. It is such a powerful thing for you to be doing this work and capturing people in very vulnerable ways, right? With the body. It definitely takes some courage for women to put themselves out there in this way. I love it, love it, love it, love it. Look at this, look at this work. I actually hadn't met you but I became acquainted with you back through my own fitness journey. I used to be a fitness competitor myself and you were shooting and doing all those things and I… someday I will shoot with you. I will absolutely do that, that will be on my bucket list. So, let's talk about what you are excited about right now because I think this is a good opportunity to start diving right into Rocking Vibe. I really want to hear the story behind how it came to be, how you made this thing happen and what this brand really means in relation to who Liana i
LIANA: So, Rocking Vibe is a jewelry line. My background story is I was born and raised in Russia. When I was 14 years old we moved to Canada. My mom decided to make that choice. That’s when the Russian USSR was falling apart. She had an opportunity. She had a job offer here. We literally packed up the bags and we moved. I left everything behind. We didn't know the language, we didn't have any friends, we left a lot of our childhood memories, everything, pictures… We came with just a suitcase. Kind of a fresh start and two things happened at that time. A) It was difficult as a child because it was a little bit of a culture shock. It was me and my sister. One of the things that we used to do is that we put jewelry together. That is a hobby that I have always had since a little girl. That was just our way of fitting in, meditation practice, I guess when I was little. B) Having my mom do that move, it showed me how anything is possible. You know what I mean? At a young age I just went with the flow but I saw my mom take such risks and do such amazing things, I was like that's normal. You want something, you do it. So, I was raised with that mindset. Jewelry has always been a part of my life but I have always just done it as a hobby and in my downtime. Whenever I feel stressed I always find myself crafting and beading and all that stuff. Everybody would always say, I love this, can you make me one and of course you know? And then literally one day a light bulb went off in my head and I was like I am going to start a jewelry line. I am just going to share this. It was almost like a journey that it was building up to and it was going to happen at any point. When the time was right, it just came out and honestly it just flowed out of me effortlessly. The whole brand developed from the packaging, to what it stands for, to the actual designs and I couldn't stop myself. It was the most inspired I have felt. It just evolved into what Rocking Vibe is today. Really, I almost feel bad taking credit for it because it just kind of happened. Now that I am in this moment and I look back, I am like, you know what? This was meant to be. This was a long time coming. Some people were like where did this come from? What? You are a photographer. Where is this from? But now that I can see and kind of connect all the dots. You know how everything happens for a reason?
LIANA: I can see the stages in my life that were preparing me for this, that were leading me to this and how it all unfolded. Like with a flower, it just kind of opens up. I feel Rocking Vibe did that. I was like oh my goodness, here it is.
AMBER: It is absolutely beautiful, I am just going to screen share with that because the jewelry is gorgeous. You can craft this? Tell me how this works behind the scenes.
LIANA: I source all over the world for the stones and I make my own designs and the stories behind them. So everything is kind of my creation.
AMBER: Look at the packaging, Liana, oh my goodness!
LIANA: I took a really long time. It was actually a year in the making before I launched.
AMBER: I love it.
LIANA: It took a whole year before it went live because I wanted it to be exactly my vision. At the time I didn't really know what the full vision was and until it was fully developed and I felt like this is it, then I pressed publish,
AMBER: I see it. The branding is just spot on. It is absolutely gorgeous. Tell us a little bit of the story about why Rocking Vibe and what the collaboration with crystals and using that in the jewelry, what that means to you.
LIANA: Once again, the inspiration comes from two places. Obviously, being a mother I wanted to create something, a brand, that aids in creating a world where people follow their destiny. I always tell my daughter, you can do anything. I was thinking, how do I use my creativity like I do in photography and my passion for the jewelry to bring that message across. You can see that at the bottom there is a little credo that I designed before anything and I will read it out. I let my heart beat bold and wild I never settle, a fierce child. My spirit is unchained, soul set on its course. I am a passionate, fearless force. That is the culture of the brand. That is what I want my daughter to grow up being and knowing. I want her to live that. I want for her to grow up in a society where the whole society embraces that.
AMBER: I love it.
LIANA: It is with that mindset, that that’s what the world needs. The whole rocks and crystals, I have also felt very grounded when my feet are on the ground. I always connected with nature. To me crystals amplify the energy so I am kind of a hippy inside but I want it to be a moderate line, a moderate conscious line. That’s what I call Rocking Vibe. When I was thinking about it, it was all about the vibration. It is what you put out there. The jewelry you wear so close to yourself. What you are wearing, is it a tourmaline?
AMBER: It is actually moldavite.
LIANA: There you go. You put it so close, it is so connected to you. How cools is it if it means something? Like a wedding band or an heirloom piece that your ancestors passed on to you. That is so important.
LIANA: So, I wanted to create that connection of that credo and the piece of jewelry and what better way to do it than when you are wearing a piece of the source with you.
LIANA: I wanted to work with natural crystals and stones and that’s where the rocks and vibrations came together and a name that sounded really modern. When that name clicked, I went online for Rocking Vibe and it was available. What are the chances that the website, the Twitter, the Instagram, everything was available. I was like you know what? This is it. I just knew. As soon as that name came and the pyramid, I actually have one sitting here.
LIANA: That’s kind of the packaging. It is a magnetic pyramid so you peel it open just like this.
AMBER: Oh, beautiful.
LIANA: And then inside you kind of peer into it…
AMBER: I can't wait to order mine.
LIANA: That actually camefrom my grandma's teaching. She used to teach me how to manifest when I was little girl. She used to buy me pyramids and make me write down my wishes and put them in there for them to manifest. Because it is a really powerful geometrical force. Like in different cultures, in the movies the Egyptians used to build them and then people would use them for healing, people use them for all sorts of things. It is extremely strong. It is just a really cool distortion.
AMBER: And then people can get their new box and they can use that as their wish pyramid.
LIANA: There is intention behind everything in this company. I don't want to tell them that this is for that, I just want them to connect with it and then see where it takes them.
LIANA: That credo is very important. Everybody gets a magnet with a credo in it because that is what the brand stands for.
AMBER: I love that and it's just that attention to detail. It is conscious branding. It is all very deliberate in such a beautiful and artistic way. I knew it from the first moment when I saw your work come out and Cathy Savage and Lori Harder, our friends, were sharing and I was just so thrilled. I was not surprised because I knew you were an artist. I think it is beautiful and I know for certain that a lot of the viewers here are going to be on Rocking Vibe as we are speaking trying to pick out their pieces so stay tuned for that. This has been so great. I am just totally inspired by your courage and to just go forth and create in such a way and allowing the muse to just come through you and to guide you and to lead you on your journey. What advice do you have for women, moms, maybe moms to be, entrepreneurs who are just kind of stuck and not sure how to move forward but they have a beautiful passion, what do you want to say to her?
LIANA: If you have a passion, allow it to be free. That’s what I found with myself. There are many things that I could have done. I have a kinesiology degree, I can do so many other things that I can make money with but it is a little scary to do what your truest desire is, but do it! Listen to that little voice inside. I always say, sometimes if you are lost and you don't know what to do, you kind of do, you just have to quiet down and really tap into what you truly want to do. If money didn't matter, if you had all the time in the world, if you had all the resources in the world, what would you do and figure out how to do that.
LIANA: Figure it out. Like I said, it will never be like yes I got here, I am here now. This is all it is. It will never be that. It will always be journey and it will always evolve and that’s the awesome part about it. Just keep following your life. Like wherever it leads you, don't shut it, don't put a lid over it and be like this is more money or this is already comfortable, I already have this job or this makes so much sense in my head.
LIANA: Every decision I made based on my intuition has been the best choice of my life. The crazy thing is for the moms, once you do become a mom, that little voice becomes so much louder.
AMBER: Yes it does.
LIANA: With your kids you just know, intuitively, you just know one day not to go to the park or the kid is crying and everyone is like, she's fine, she's fine but it's almost like a scream and that's when you learn to really listen to listen to it and then apply that intuition to other things in your life. For me, once I became a mom, I definitely had a lot more, I don't want to say more meaning in my life, but you know it became… I had more purpose, not meaning. I have a reason to do this now, to follow this. I want to bring this brand so my daughter can grow up in a culture where she is encouraged to fulfill whatever she wants and all that both in photography and in Rocking Vibe, in everything I do.
AMBER: Yeah, the children, they become a permission slip in a lot of ways for you to just really go for what that purpose is. I couldn't agree with you more that the intuition level, vibration, all that just goes up to a whole new space that you never had before.
AMBER: Yeah, yes exactly. It is just about detaching from the achievement systems and things that you subscribe to in your life or have been taught or whatever and getting in touch with what yours is, what your truth is and walking down that path courageously and realizing that you are never going to feel ready, it is never going to be perfect, you are always going to feel like a little bit of a hot mess but as long as you enjoy and leading with love and really allowing your passion to guide you, you can't go wrong.
LIANA: Yeah, that’s for certain.
AMBER: Beautiful. So we have a special little surprise for our viewers that we are going to be doing a Rocking Vibe giveaway that I am so excited about. I am going to have Liana explain the story of how you are going to enter to win but what you need to do is where this interview is posted on my Facebook page, and don't worry the link is going to be everywhere to the post to make it very simple for your guys, you have to, tell us what we need them to do.
LIANA: It is very simple. I don't want to make it a big homework assignment but I want you to tap into that moment when you definitely did something, that you listened to your intuition, there was an important moment to reflect on what got you to the next step of where you want to be. So just in the comments, it can be two or three sentences, whatever it is, telling us your proud moment, your courageous moment, your Rocking Vibe moment when you stepped out of that comfort zone and just share that. Because you know what, another thing I found? Sharing matters. It just may be exactly what somebody else needs to hear at that point. Because it is contagious.
LIANA: Being forward and taking chances is courageous. Because as soon as somebody sees somebody taking control of their own destiny and doing what they desire, going towards their goals, it sends a rippling effect. So, by sharing your story you are actually going to be letting others follow and that is kind of the whole purpose of this. So share your moment in the comment section and then we will randomly pick a winner and then I will contact the winner and you get to pick any piece online.
AMBER: Wow! Oh my goodness. So share your Rocking Vibe moment. This is so awesome, Liana. Thank you so much! That is just beyond exciting and I know how special that piece is going to be to the winner. I am excited to do some shopping myself after we wrap up this interview. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us today.
LIANA: Thank you so much for allowing me to talk and honestly this is amazing. I love telling people who I am and why I am doing this.
AMBER: And by you doing this, this interview was so powerful, I know that there are women watching this right now going okay, I am doing it. I gonna do it. I am gonna start. And maybe for her it is a jewelry business, maybe she is a photographer, maybe she wants to do some paintings, it doesn't matter. Maybe she wants to walk away from her six figure corporate job to go start her side business and live in the woods. It doesn't matter. It is whatever the heart is calling for and you are a role model. So, thank you Liana for just sharing your truth with us today. It is beautiful.
LIANA: Thank you so much for having me.
AMBER: You're welcome. I always like to show my little heart-shaped rock here for you. I collect heart-shaped rocks. I live on the seacoast here in New England. This is a fake one but I have lots of real ones. I send them to my clients and you will be getting one as well.
LIANA: Thank you
AMBER: Thank you Liana.
LIANA: Virtual hugs!
AMBER: Virtual hugs – yes! And everybody you can find Liana at rockingvibe.com and lianalouzon.com.
AMBER: Beautiful. Thank you.
LIANA: Thank you.