Say hello to today's featured photographer lisagriffin. Lisa is a multi-award winning, Irish photographer who focuses not only on fashion and portraiture but the exploration of self-value, feminine beauty and isolation in todays culture. The imagery falls somewhere between beauty and dream, and through her eyes we are instantly transported to a storybook never been written before.

The Elements by lisagriffin

What inspired you to be a photographer?
When I was a child I was always encouraged to create. My mother having study art and design in her youth, it seemed fitting that I would take up a craft at some point in my adolescence. I was taking pictures since I was very young, but, I never saw myself to be a photographer. I always wanted to be a sculptor or a painter. I used to spend hours of my final years in secondary school sketching, painting and creating, to make the portfolio I needed, to be good enough to empress at my art college interviews and portfolio reviews. I even included some photographs into my college portfolio but I hadn't taken up photography as a career possibility until my second year in college.

Follow Me by lisagriffin

While training to be a print maker, I found that taking my camera out into locations with a model was much more satisfying than sitting in a studio sketching lines all day long. It wasn't long before I ditched the idea of being a print maker and pursued what made me truly happy. I tested, and taught myself how to edit, and with trial and error, I figured out what worked. By my final year in art college (which I finished) I was already making bigger and better plans to improve my work, to travel and to meet the outside world, as a fresh photographer. What inspired me to be a photographer? It's an easy one, my mother, for allowing me to change my career-path-mind about 108 times until I'd found something I'm happy with.

Ice and Fire by lisagriffin

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?
My first SLR camera was a Nikon D3000 with the standard kit lens. It was given to me by my uncle for my birthday as a teen and it was a valuable tool for my years learning the difference between shooting auto to shooting manual. Then came the day where I needed an upgrade, which became my full time camera, Nikon D7000 with a range of Nikon lenses, 85mm f1.8 being my favourite at the minute.

Berglind by lisagriffin

When someone looks at your photos, what do you want them to take away from it, what are you trying to communicate?
It's always difficult to say what I want someone to take away from my work. Because my work is so visual and my style is so varied. I try very hard to tell stories in my imagery and to feel like I'm in a fairytale, or a dream of some sort. I often create for myself, not for a client, for the self satisfactory feeling of looking at a final picture, or having it printed really large hanging on the wall and to say "I created this." It makes me happier than I could put into worlds to view a piece that myself, and a few talented creatives (makeup artist, model, stylist). But, if I were to put three words together, I would want my viewers to take away from each piece it would be, enchantment, power and to be inspired.

A Power Unearthed by lisagriffin

What is it that you love about photography?
I love photography's endless possibilities. A photograph doesn't just end when you press your shutter, a photograph begins when you press your shutter. You can do anything with imagination and the right tools. I feel completely free as a photographer.

Carmen by lisagriffin

What has photography done for you?
Photography has opened my eyes. It has helped me to see light, colours, textures and faces that I would have never noticed if I wasn't so much in love with my craft. When you're doing something you love, you begin catch yourself gazing at beautiful details all around you, down to the smallest beam of light brushing against the spider on the wall.

The Elements II by lisagriffin

Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?
I think being conceptual comes natural to me. When an idea comes, I do try to portray the story in the imagery, but I don't see myself trying very hard to make the pictures what they will become.


How do you describe your style?
My style is falling somewhere between beauty and dream. Through my eyes, the viewer is transported to a storybook never written before. I know some may not consider me a fashion photographer and others may not consider me an artist. I see myself a tare between the two. It suits me to be both.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
At the moment I've been clinging to my Nikon 85mm f1.8. I love the depth of field it creates, especially since the spring afternoons in Ireland have been so beautiful for portrait sessions.

Grace by lisagriffin

What are your 3 tips for others who want to become photographers?
1. Practice whenever you get the chance. I know sometimes it feels almost impossible to take out the camera and start shooting. But think of it as learning to drive, a little bit, every day, and it becomes second nature.

2. Look up tutorials online of your stuck, there's always someone on the internet kind enough to share their experiences, and solutions.

3. When you start to get good and you're beginning to get some jobs here or there, don't let agencies, magazines or companies take advantage of your unknown status and underpay your value. Your work is valuable to you. And, if someone wants to hire you, then your work is valuable to them too. Don't let people trick or persuade you into photographing at your own expense, for them, in hopes of them getting you work, or "Facebook credits" with a link to your website. Credits mean NOTHING when you have rent and bills to pay.

Growth From a Seed by lisagriffin

Have you received negative feedback from your work? What did you do about it?
Posting your work online welcomes feedback, both good or negative. When I used to get negative feedback it used to effect me. I used to be so angry that someone could leave a nasty comment on my pictures "because I'm obviously a newbie photographer." Now I brush it off, I don't even respond to the negativity anymore.

Element by lisagriffin

Raw vs jpg and why?
When I started taking pictures, I always shot in jpg. I didn't even know the difference between raw and jpg. Now, I swear by raw and wish I'd shot some of my old favourite pictures in raw too. I know its a scary jump from JPG to RAW, but the sooner someone does it, the better.

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?
I feel sometimes people spend loads of money to buy all the latest lighting equipment, and the best software when they decide to enter into this profession first. And getting all your digital goodies too quickly can be overwhelming for some people, you could get into some habits of over lighting, over retouching, over editing your images that may be difficult to break out of.

Tinkerbell by lisagriffin

What is your dream location to shoot?
I've never been to America and I would love travel there and shoot where ever I go. Like, a fine art fashioney photography tour. This would be a huge dream come true for me. Someday in the future, hopefully.

A piece of the Sea by lisagriffin

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?
I usually like to visit my location in advance to see if I can find some pre-photoshoot inspiration. Sometimes, I bring a team member, sometimes it's just myself. And when I visit the location, whether it be an abandoned house, or a forest, or street, or castle, the story begins to build up in my head, then to hand, to pencil to sketch book. I'll either write out my ideas or sketch them depending on how detailed I want the shot to be. Once I've decided that I definitely want to bring a team to that location, I send out the emails to my favourite creatives to see when their available. And we get creating.

Suzanne by lisagriffin

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?
For the month of June I'm going to be taking a little break from photographing models and I'll be photographing places and cultures instead. I've always wanted to travel around central Europe and I've come to a perfect time in my little life to take some time off planning and stressing, and take an adventure across a few countries for a month. I haven't anything further than July planned for the moment.

What is your goal with your photography?
I hope when I'm much older, that I still have a passion for this craft. That I managed to keep afloat in todays society, and that I'm happy wherever I may be.

Portrait by lisagriffin

Thank you so much LisaGriffen! if you enjoyed this please follow and send her some peer awards!