I’ve been enjoying the photographic work of Linda Troeller, often referred to as the wellness and spa photographer. Linda’s articles and photographs have been featured in magazines galore: Oprah, New York Times, Spa Management and Marie Claire just to name a few. How amazing would it be to write about spas with Linda Troeller photographing the experience with me?
I asked Linda how and why she started photographing spas and wellness. Here is her response:
“I went to Mexico in 1976 to get over an engagement break up. I visit the painter, Leonara Carrington, who lives in Mexico City. She said in Mexico you can heal with taking mushrooms at Palanque or go to a mineral baths. I
chose the baths and went to Ixtapan. I bathed with the local Indians and they told me also about San Jose Purua spa. There I took mud baths and healed as well. I took some images but dreamed of going to other healing mineral waters. At this time in the USA, mineral baths fell out of favor and were boarded up so I went to Japan to Kyushu to their springs and photographed. The images caught the attention of photo editors and magazines and I continued to pursue the topic. The next place was Calistoga Hot Springs, where I took a picture that was published in Life Magazine…and then I continued creating new images at these beautiful and often fairly unknown locations at the time.”
Living in Syracuse, NY it was interesting to learn that Linda attended Syracuse University in the 1970’s. She has recently had her life’s photography archives acquired by the Bird Library at S.U., “when I die, not yet..but it is good to know my prints, art etc. are in a place for all times”.
The rest of this post is reprinted with Linda’s permission from an interview by Gina Molinari, a spa consultant. The photos are also shared with you with Linda’s permission. Enjoy!
THE WELLNESS PHOTOGRAPHER
Linda Troeller is best known as the “Spa photographer”, able to capture the poetic ecstasy of Wellness by evolving artistic shoots for spas and product companies and also with her books “Healing Waters” and “Spa Journeys”. As a photographer and journalist, she has conquered international recognition thanks to her refined and atmospheric images and art. In her career she has obtained several important awards for her collections dedicated to healing and social issues. Her projects range from TB AIDS DIARY and Erotic Lives of Women (1998) to Chelsea Hotel (2008).
– What role does Visual Art play for deep relaxation?
Visual art has the power to transform a person to another place and time which can uplift mood. When the spa chooses art that is a true reflection of the aspiration of the spa’s brand identity, it has a further opportunity to bring the guest’s spa treatment experience to a more successful level.
These images can be incorporated into the treatments rooms, halls, and hotel rooms. This artistic theme can be carried through to the brochures, website and direct mail.
– How have spas included your art in their settings?
I will start with Hippocrates since they decorated a treatment room with my photograph Jacuzzi, Calistoga Hot Springs, Ca. It is framed beside a massage table. Even before you enter this room you see a healing term printed on wood on the door — purity or harmony. Another spa, Toskana Therme, Bad Sulza, Germany commissioned of a group of my photographs to hang at the entry to the Liquid Sound pool to visually prepare the bather with the floating style that exists inside this pool. The Feline Day Spa owner in NYC gave each of the therapists a chance to choose one of my photographs for the decor of their treatment room. They told me how much more they enjoy the space and often talk about the art with the clients.
– Tell us why you still work on the healing topic?
I have been shooting Goddess Portraits created with Kat James, Total Transformation workshops held for a week in North Carolina, with women after spa therapies, and a hair and make up application. I aim at bringing out the soul and best energies of the women. These photographs can framed and put in the women’s home to inspire lifestyle or identity changes, some women use them on their Facebook page even.
For GB Hotels, Abano Spa, Italy I photographed five towns in their region which included the water city of the world, Venice. They plan to make an art brochure of my images to inspire spa guests to guide in how to explore the region during their cure.
What are some current projects?
Lately, I’ve been influenced by new technology that offers new modalities such as LED colored lights to improve Energy balance and Gem therapy to enervate certain regions of the body.
I’ve been shooting images that look toward the ‘future.’ I also have taught “photography” on cruise boats, and as a guest artist at Rancho La Puerto Spa, Mexico.
-What kind of emotions do you want to communicate in your photos?
Peacefulness. Sensuality. Energy. Sexuality. Amazement