For me, a photograph serves as a means to examine myself, empathize with others or gain insights into the way people live, work, eat, shop, play, tell stories, create order out of chaos, or find peace in the midst of terror. It can also be a trigger to remember someone, some feeling or event, almost like déjà-vu.
Whether I’m photographing myself, strangers or a city, my photographs are often permeated with stillness, calmness, solitude, melancholy, nostalgia, the passage of time, loss, attitude, absence and presence, fear and resolve, spirituality and memories. While I am not religious, I am drawn to sacred sites or find spirituality in odd places.
I like to use a tripod because it requires time to contemplate a good shot. I also like the way it aids in capturing motion, ghost-like characters and mysterious night scenes. I also like the formality it adds to a photograph.
I grew up on Long Island, and 30 years ago, my husband and I moved to Brooklyn and raised our children here. I studied music (Trinity College, BA) and finance (Columbia University, MBA), worked on Wall Street, and became an avid triathlete. I am now returning to passions that I haven't previously had the time to explore.
Like many teenagers of my generation, I spent hours poring over The Family of Man and Ansel Adams books. During college, I took a visual anthropology course for which I made a photographic essay about a New England farm where a pig named Arnold lived inside the house and watched TV and a nephew named Pooch worked in the fields. I shot in black and white film, developed and made prints in the darkroom. To bring myself up to date, I recently took continuing education classes to learn digital color photography, Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign, and got re-hooked on photography.
I’ve had five solo photography shows at Berlitz Language Center in New York City, IACE (Italian American Committee on Education) in New York City, Eileen Fisher in East Hampton, and University of Connecticut (Stamford).
All images and text © Lisa Donneson 2019