WBM: Is there someone you have photographed who really stands out in your memory?
LISA: Yes, a young busker named Jordan Kells. Jordan is a contact juggler who does amazing imagery with a glass ball. I made contact with him and we spent the afternoon together. There were many stories shared, some great shots captured and even lunch! Watching him was magical…getting to know him added so much more to the whole experience.
WBM: Can you tell us a story or two about any particular shots you have?
LISA: One day I was out with my friend Victoria Dennis, who is a graphic designer. We were having breakfast and I pulled out my camera and started shooting. When I saw those images on the screen, I knew…it was my lightbulb moment! I looked at those portraits and was filled with all kinds of emotion. For a long time I wasn’t sure what I shot best, where I could really shine…after that day I knew. She immediately created a beautiful website and put together some strong and gorgeous branding…the rest is history.
The other would be as current as last week. I approached Tom Wilson and in between our hectic day we met up at the Horseshoe Tavern. We spent 30 minutes talking, sharing some experiences and I ended up getting that one shot that I was just over the moon for. I love when that happens! And now aside from getting that shot, I’ve made a new friend.
WBM: How do you know that you have captured the “right” shot?
LISA: It’s hard to explain, but there is an emotion that comes along with that click of the shutter. That moment when you just know, with all of your being that you got it! There’s no feeling like it!
WBM: What are some of the biggest mistakes you have or can make as a photographer?
LISA: For myself, I need to be aware of my surroundings. It’s easy to get caught up in the shoot and not pay attention to what’s around you. I took some great shots of a tattoo artist once. I realized when I got home that there was a big blue recycling bin outside of the window I was shooting him in. Luckily, I took roughly 300 shots that morning and got a lot that I was really happy with. I don’t use Photoshop at all, or I could have easily made the bins disappear.
WBM: Have there ever been moments where you felt doubts about photography? How have you gone through them?
LISA: Second guessing…it’s a terrible thing, but it happens. Last year I answered an ad for a youth shelter that was looking for a photographer for a public advertising campaign. My first thoughts were that I would love to do that…my second was, maybe I’m not good enough. I had to give myself a little kick and walk in there knowing that I was good enough. I ended up photographing every young person in that shelter and the best part was being able to bring out their smiles, even if only for a moment. That was the best pay I could have received!
WBM: Not necessarily in the sense of your work, but what inspires you from your environment?
LISA: Where I live and how I live, as opposed to what my life looked like many years ago, plays a big part in who I am today. I’m not the scared girl I was back then…today I’m ready to succeed!
WBM: What does “place” mean to you?
LISA: “A portion of space available or being used by someone”–I don’t think of place as always meaning space. I think it’s where a person is mentally, emotionally as well as physically.
WBM: What does stillness mean for you?
LISA: It means being exactly where I am…and knowing that I am there for a reason. Stillness is a very comforting place for me.
WBM: At this point, when photography is more accessible than ever, what do you feel there remains to give creatively through the medium?
LISA: I like to think of myself as a visual story teller. Photography is everywhere, good, bad and ugly. I could never work in a big box-store taking family portraits–it’s just not who I am. I am on a photographic journey right now. I really believe that because I feel this in my soul, I may stand out from others. My work is unfolding and changing all the time. My hope is that there will always be someone out there who is looking to have their story told through an image.
WBM: What about portraiture do you feel to be significant?
LISA: Someone’s face, their eyes, their wrinkles, crows feet, laugh lines…photographing someone’s face is an incredible walk through their past.
WBM: Tell us about some of your current or most recent projects.
LISA: I am currently working on the last pieces of my exhibit. I will be showing my work as part of the Scotia Bank Photography Festival for the month of May in the Junction at Post and Beam, 2869 Dundas Street West. Saturday May 4th is the opening gala…I’m quite excited about it!
WBM: Outside of photography, what concerns you, invigorates you, and makes you happy?
LISA: I have great love for the hidden, the less fortunate, the forgotten. I could honestly walk around downtown all day listening to peoples’ stories–that makes me happy. My family, a husband who builds wicked hot rods, my son who is also a great photographer and my youngest son who keeps me laughing–that makes me happy. Giving back, volunteering, being present–all of these make up Lisa MacIntosh.
WBM: What are you looking forward to in 2013, and what can we expect from you in future projects or exhibitions?
LISA: I have recently begun doing some pro-bono photography work. The spring and summer will be busy working on projects with Meagan’s Walk Foundation, The Regent Park School of Music and most recently, doing some front line photography for The Ronald McDonald House. I’m a big believer in doing for others. Pro-bono work is a big part of what I’m doing right now. Sharing my gift with others fills my heart…it’s really what makes me shine.
All images courtesy of Lisa MacIntosh.
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