Hi, I'm Leia Shijie Guo (she/her)
I am a professional photographer and glassmaker living and creating in Moh’kinsstis (also known as Calgary, AB). My specialty is working with other creatives in the arts and culture sector: visual artists, musicians, performers, chefs, you name it! Through a combination of studio, lifestyle, and branding photography I make you and your business the star of the show. When I am not at a shoot you can find me in the darkroom or hotshop making my signature "vitreo" prints that incorporate the magic of optical glass in good old fashioned photography processes.
I graduated with honours at the Alberta University of the Arts in 2022 with a BFA in Glass and a BDes in Photography in 2023. Some of my clients include the AUArts Students' Association Show+Sale, the Calgary Horticultural Society, and CASSA Musical Arts. I have also displayed at both regional and international exhibitions with my fine artwork. On my off days, you can find me snuggling my cats Keith Urban and Geegee or cruising down Cowboy Trail with the windows down.
An absolute pleasure! Working with Leia was amazing, she created an environment where I felt comfortable and really got me to channel my inner self. She was fun, open to all my suggestions, and overall a joy to have as a photographer. I was looking for professional artist headshots and Leia took them to a whole other level! I love the photos she took because they really feel like me! Every time I use one of the photos I feel so much joy remembering that experience!
Glass + Photo
For me, the beauty of both glassmaking and photography comes from their ability to sculpt light and optics to create a sense of place and time. My fine art practice is centered on using the handblown glass I make in the hotshop to create sublime "vitreoscapes" in the darkroom with the silver gelatin and cyanotype processes. The vitreoscapes I create as an interdisciplinary artist are a love letter to Southern Alberta, the place I call home. Learn about my vitreoscapes below!
Community + Advocacy
As a first generation immigrant and a WoC making work within the landscape genre in Canada, I am unapologetic in my desire to subvert the idea that my artwork must be tied to my racial/cultural identity. I choose to celebrate and advocate for myself through supporting the community around me; by being a photographer who helps others shine in the spotlight. Many of my community projects are focused on supporting other emerging artists, small businesses, and non-profits that make a difference in Calgary. If you would like to collaborate on a community-centered project, please reach out to me! I'd love to hear from you.
As a creator, I humbled to create my work as a guest in what is now known as "Canada". My home studio is based in Moh’kinsstis (otherwise known as Calgary) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani as well as the Stoney Nakoda: Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley and Tsuut’ina nations. I also wish to acknowledge the members of the Inuit and Métis communities - specifically, the Métis Nation Region Three, and their impact on the creative community of where I call home. Finally, in the spirit of reconciliation, I acknowledge all people who make their home here are Treaty 7 people.