Liz Liguori photographs rock bands, fashionistas, superstar DJs, sunrises and sunsets, actors, models, artists, skies, drag queens, playwrights, landscapes and skylines. Light, darkness, color, drama, beauty, wit, blazing energy, a fiery still resonance--all of these play a part in the visual show she presents to you. Most notably, she's got an uncanny sense of light and how to use it. Part of this naturally evolves from her years of experience exerting her artistic insight working the lights at some of the world's most famous nightclubs alongside DJ legends like Frankie Knuckles, Susan Morabito and David Morales. Painting with lights is how she describes her creations of light-scapes which--thanks to her visionary talents-immediately complement a night of throbbing, soaring music in a room as people dance madly.

That kind of innate awareness of light, passion, energy and a divine comprehension of what feels right and captures a moment also informs Liguori's photography. So when she's taking a photograph, she communicates fluidly with her subjects, infusing the work she's creating with a truth. There's an honesty (even if the setting might be highly theatrical or carefully, skillfully orchestrated) in how that person or moment is presented. A portrait of activist and playwright Larry Kramer conveys the man's gentleness as well as his stubborn drive. The wildly creative, gender-teasing musical trio Da Lipstyxx burst forth in their portrait with a daring, colorful bravado that's characteristic of their beat-fueled songs. Surly deep-blue clouds looming over a brilliantly pink Miami warehouse convey all the drama of a tropical storm amid the blinding brightness of sun-bleached suburbia. Liguori's photos brilliantly capture the power and spirit of her subjects, then amazingly take it further as they get filtered through her own, wildly creative, interpretive eye.

Liguori has photographed scores of cover stories for Next Magazine (the New York City weekly where she also worked her magic as Associate Art Director, performing mind-bending feats of artistry manipulating imagery via Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator and laying out and designing features) and her work (portraiture, fashion, editorial and party shots) has been featured in publications such as Attitude (UK), Genre, the Village Voice and Frontiers. She also shoots PR imagery and fashion look books, and her own original projects have been included in gallery shows in New York City.

"I take pictures to pacify my addiction for vision," says Liguori. "I'm a voyeur by nature, so they nourish me in a sense." And her favorite kind of photos to take? The ones where there are no rules. The ones you don't expect. The ones where when you look at them for the first time it feels like Christmas."

Merry Christmas.

--John Polly