Interviewed By RayTrill, ALL Images by Olivia Van Rye.
I’ve always been drawn to the creative arts, whether it be design, music or photography… There is something fascinating about a person that can make you see the world in a different way. That’s exactly what Olivia Van Rye, the legendary photographer on tour around the world with Boombox Cartel, does. Her photos do more than just show you an image of the night… they entice you to see the world in an entirely different way. There is shock value and emotion in every image she presents to the public and it is our honor to honor her during TRILLVO Women’s month.
Olivia, what is your role in the music industry?
i’d say to capture moments that aren’t typically seen. There’s a lot of really beautiful moments that are hiding and i feel it’s important that they come to light. i have an obsession with collecting photos, videos, memories, moments. i want to create a feeling. i want that to set me apart.
Give us a run down, a summary if you will, of how you achieved the position you have now.
ok, i’ll give you a quick background of how it all began. i got into photography my freshman year of high school, when i was a snowboard instructor. i would take my camera every weekend and film all my friends and put together recap videos and make albums with local skiers/snowboarders. i had always taken art, but never really connected with a medium that i could see myself sticking with until my senior year of high school, when i decided to do a whole year long project on photography. it just felt right when i had a camera in my hand. after high school i made the choice to not go to college and pursue modeling, which is something i had wanted to do for a long time. that industry is extremely brutal, and really made me question my self worth. i spent almost a year living in new york city, and actually ended up having to sell my camera to pay for my rent at the time. once i finally moved home, i was able to re purchase my camera after missing it for so long. i was able to realize how important photography was. that year after i moved home was really difficult, i was struggling with some depression and deciding what i wanted to do with my life after i had pursued a dream that didn’t work out. a friend of mine had been taking photo of concerts and wanted me to come try it out. the first show was joey bada$$ in wallingford, connecticut. i was hooked. i couldn’t stop reaching out to people, asking to shoot their shows, wanting to capture those moments for them. down the line a bit, i had connected with the right people after shooting a fair share of shows and events and people. everything just seemed to fall into place.
where do you see yourself in 5 years?
continuing to travel the world with my camera at my side, see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures. i hope to be working with magazines someday soon, doing photojournalism type work. i just really want to document peoples lives in a new way, and if i can continue to do so in 5 years i will be more than happy.
What did you want to be when you were younger and what was it like growing up in your family?
it was always changing, but it was usually something on the creative side. interior designer, gallery owner, graphic designer, pro snowboarder actually…. there was always so much pressure in school to have such a clear path of what you wanted to “be”, as if you had one year to choose what you wanted your entire life to look like, but that’s so unrealistic. i feel like i still don’t know. we are all constantly growing and figuring it out along the way, but as long as you are doing something you love it will always lead you to something great. i was lucky enough to grow up in a family that always allowed me to express myself how i wanted and trusted the decisions i made, which has definitely influenced where i am today.
Tell us why music, as a whole, is so important to you.
music is one of the only things that can really take you to another place, physically, spiritual, and mentally, and as my career as a photographer has grown, i’ve been able to mesh the two together. music should be seen, as well as heard, and i love being able to capture music, and the emotions that come along with it, in a new light
Tell us about some women in the industry that have inspired you?
not necessarily in the industry, but just the women i choose to surround myself in my life are who inspire me. my mom, grandma, aunts, friends….they all have similar traits in that they have fought hard for what they want, and they stand for what is right and i feel lucky that i have them as role models and am able to learn from them every day.
What struggles have you had to face trying to make it in the music industry either in general or directly relating to you as a woman?
overall, the hardest thing has been continuing to push through even when you’ve been told no, or feel discouraged. it takes a lot of confidence to put your work out there and that’s absolutely something that i’ve struggled with. and sometimes the reality is that talent isn’t always a deciding factor for some people. they’d rather choose their friends over someone new and fresh, but those are the times where you push even harder.
Why do you think the music industry is so male dominated?
truthfully, it’s intimidating! and i hate saying that, but at the beginning, i was intimidated! i would get looked at skeptically, or treated lesser than, simply because i’m a female. we are so often told by so many people in the news, tv, everyday life that we can’t do it like men can, and that’s infuriating! but once i started to gain confidence i was able to take all of that and use it to take my best photos and videos that would prove to people why there should and will be more women in the industry.
What can we do as women to help improve our own image in the industry?
we must continue to not change who we are to please other people. respect yourself and what you stand for. doing things you don’t want to do, just to prove your worth will not get you further in your career. continuing to prove to everyone that we are strong, and powerful and badass and will continue doing our thing no matter what. recently i’ve seen so many powerful women dominating industries across the board and its super exciting. if we can continue bringing each other up instead of tearing each other down we will be able to change the world more than we have already.
What words can you give to inspire other women wanting to make it in this crazy industry?
continue pushing for what you want, never take no for an answer, and never do something you don’t want to do, even if you think its going to help your career. the only thing that can help boost you forward is by continuing to show your work and prove to people how good you are. know your worth and that you have so much to bring to the table.
What’s up next for you Olivia?
lots of travel in the coming months, which i really can’t wait for. i’ve got some personal projects on the way as well so keep an eye out!