20under20 judge: Lou Noble

As a Los Angeles-based photographer who has been on Flickr since 2005, he has taught photography workshops in the U.S. and U.K., and is currently Managing Editor for The Photographic Journal.

Lou’s expertise is pretty clear with a glance of his photostream: Gorgeous portraiture. Enjoy a few of our favorites, including snippets of his photo stories.


“Wouldn’t have met Megan without Flickr. Wouldn’t be a photographer without Flickr, either. So it was damn big honor having them choose me for…well, anything, let alone having them choose me as a judge for something they were doing.”


“Running through traffic, that was the initial idea. And, I must say, a fine idea it was! Got the blood pumping, had us giggling at our near-misses. Traffic: the best way to get the pulse up and the gut churning.”

“But this one, this one with Melanie about to jump over my head, with trees lined up just so and her body in that perfect frozen moment of motion? This one’s probably my favorite of the day.”


“We did this a good dozen times, trying to get that spray right, figuring out if it worked better with Carré not reacting to the water, or laughing wildly while smacking the pool (her natural reaction) or some mix of the two. A good dozen times, but this, the first, was the best. Of course.”


“It’s almost impossible to take photos outside, right now. Like a blast furnace, out there! Last few times I attempted a photo shoot we ended up sprinting inside before our guts baked.”

“so hot we’d take a few pictures, then jump back inside the car, which I’d left running with the a/c on full blast. We’d guzzle down our Big Gulps (that’s no mere prop, folks), steel ourselves, then drive around until we found another cool spot, jump out and do it all over again.

“Naturally, this house was our last stop. Magnificent, I want to live right next to it, pop over and ask them for tea, be the annoying neighbor who always takes pictures, who comes over and overstays their welcome. Such a house!”


“I’m happy with the way this photo has captured Shelbie, but the more I look at it, the more I find it intriguing for what it doesn’t show.”

“Doesn’t show the fact that we were shooting in a beer garden.”

“That we were surrounded by hordes of Eminem fans.”

“That the light was so bright as to be oppressive.”

“It shows very little of how big the Rose Bowl is, or that it took me a half hour to walk in and meet Shelbie and her husband.”

“In order to take this picture, I had to ignore so many other stories around me, so many other shots of the same place.”

“Reminds me of how Steve Jobs once described the Apple design process, that it was about being willing to say No in order to get to where you want.”


“Think I’ll start calling my apartment The Lab…yeah, I like that…playing around, experimenting with the light that comes in through the doors, much more than my last place, and because I’m still figuring it out, I get to bring my subjects along for the ride.”

“Stand here, no, over there, let’s see what this does, or this, sit up there, no, move your face a little bit…hmmmmmmmmmm.”

“The key is to allow my enthusiasm to spread out like a wave, envelop my subjects. If they can get caught up in it, we gon have us a good time.”

“If not…well, that there is a wave of enthusiasm just sitting on the floor, between us, flopping around like a dead fish.”

We’re so happy to have Lou partake on our panel that will judge our 20under20 finalists for their inspiring work, and we look forward to the October 1 gala in New York City’s Milk Studios.

Thanks, Lou!