It’s all happening in Angela Izzo’s corner of the universe. With a contagious laugh and a laissez faire twirl, she can usually be seen wherever the cool kids are — carried as if by an ocean breeze from one glorious moment to the next, always with a camera in hand, always with a Cheshire grin.
Equal parts Penny Lane with a photography degree and Sugar Magnolia on a green-tea buzz, the 27-year-old photographer may not be living the dream, and it may indeed be the strangest life she’s ever known, but she’s totally present for it and radiantly happy in it.
Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Izzo moved to Ventura in 2005 to attend Brooks University. Rock and roll photography was something she was already interested in, and it wasn’t out of character for her to sneak a camera into an arena concert, work her way to the front guerrilla-style and shoot whoever she was smitten with at the time.
When she landed in Ventura, she connected with some like-minded folk, many of whom orbited Lynne Okun’s Art Barn (which she made a film about), many of whom were musicians. Izzo and her camera appendage were soon omnipresent on the scene. Her natural tendency to photo-journal live music left her with endless hours of footage, and consequently a documentary project was born.
“People are starting to realize what amazing talent we have in Ventura, and I have all this footage I need to do something with,” she says.
To that end, Izzo, like so many of her colleagues, is looking to crowd-fund the project so she can do it proper-like and hire a crew. Already partially completed, her local music documentary has, until this point, been paid for by her. She’s looking to raise $8,000 and has some cool rewards for her supporters.
The person who donates the largest amount exceeding $1,500 will receive a guitar signed by singer-songwriter/photographer Neal Casal (Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Chris Robinson Brotherhood). Other prizes include a guitar signed by Jade Hendrix and producing credits on the film, plus everyone who donates will be invited to Izzo’s private screening party at the Museum of Ventura County, on June 11, during Ventura Music Week, where she will show the trailer for the documentary and feature live music by Jade Hendrix, Lauren Barth and others. Her photography will also be exhibited during the event.
Photography is more about the eye than the tool, and Izzo’s work is very much informed by her fascination with the offbeat and askew. “I travel and explore, go into weird book stores and thrift shops and get lost in things,” she says. She rarely goes anyplace without a camera, and when your subjects tend to be humans, it helps to be affable. “Anyone can have the best camera, most expensive gear and education, but if no one wants to be around you . . . I know people feel comfortable around me and can relax and not feel guarded,” says Izzo. “They give me access into their lives.”
In partnership with VCReporter and Mute on the Floor, Izzo put together a very short film for the local music scene that will be shown Thursday, May 2, at Bombay Bar and is also viewable on the Reporter’s YouTube channel. She also shot this week’s cover and many of the inside images. Izzo brings exuberance to everything she does and it shows in her work. “I love people, I love life. Everything is inspiring.”
For more information about Angela Izzo and to see her work, visit izzoimages.com and youtube.com/user/izzoimages. To contribute to her Kickstarter campaign, kickstarter.com/projects/beyondlocal/beyondlocal. You may also contribute every Tuesday in June by eating at Red Brick Pizza in Ventura. Each week, a different local musical artist will perform and a percentage of food sales will be funneled into Izzo’s campaign.