Some photos I shot at XOXO Festival last month.
Paul and I shoot XOXO every year in Portland and it's one of our favorite jobs. It's honestly the bar we measure all our other jobs by, and working with Andy and Andy is such a great experience it's really hard to beat. Doing photos and videos for XO is also really personal to us. It kind of jumpstarted everything in our careers!
Back in 2012, we did the Kickstarter video for Andy & Andy, and leading up to the first festival, we both had day jobs and were freelancing on the side. We had been contemplating going full time freelance but were on the fence. Enter XOXO. We couldn't shoot the festival if we kept our jobs--it would be too many days off. Andy Baio sent us an email, and the gist of it was, 'you should quit your day jobs'. This motivated us and on a family trip to Utah I let my boss know, and a month later Paul left his job. We made the leap.
It was extremely scary but it was so, so worth it. I'll never forget that energy of standing in the YU building and that feeling of not having a tether or a safety net. I felt scared but also so excited and inspired. It was so cool shooting something that felt important and relevant to us: it's a festival about independence and doing things on your own. We met so many creative people, good friends, and have gotten to work on some really cool projects with people we've met there over the years.
It's also inspired me to start a lot of projects of my own. The first year, it led to me getting inspired to experiment more with fashion and promotional photography, and that whole year I spent really pursuing my portfolio. I worked really hard. By the next XO, I had seen my photos on buses around Portland and was working with clients on the regular. The second year, I got inspired to start my own magazine. A few months later I was working with people from all over the world to make my weird idea a reality. This year, I was so inspired by the women who spoke to create an issue of Liner dedicated to showcasing female talent only. That issue comes out this December.
If this was the last XOXO, it really ended on a high note: the talks were amazing. I literally laughed and cried, met some really cool people and caught up with some old friends. It was kind of perfect too because John Roderick from the Long Winters spoke, and my first date with Paul was at one of their concerts.
XOXO has grown with us, inspired us and been such an integral part of our work and lives. I'll always be grateful that Andy and Andy were willing to take a chance on two unknowns like us. This year it was an amazing time as usual and I left feeling so excited to work on new projects and pursue all of my crazy ideas. If there is another XOXO, I know it's going to be amazing.
Thanks Andy and Andy! As always, it was the best.