We are happy to share our conversation with the talented community member lisagriffin. Lisa is from Ireland and is lucky enough to have an endless supply of "fairytale" locations around her which she uses creatively.  "I would describe my work as falling somewhere between beauty and dream"

What emotions are you trying to evoke with your photography?

Usually when someone thinks "photography", they think weddings, with blushing brides and happy families, or paparazzi running after famous people 24/7 and someone venturing out into the wilderness to capture astonishing photographs of landscapes and wildlife never seen before. When I tell someone I'm a photographer, this is what people think I do, until I show them some samples of my work. When I think "photography" I think of a canvas, as a painter would. An empty void that needs filling, with subjects, and beauty and emotion and light. I would describe my work as falling somewhere between beauty and dream, (sometimes nightmare) as I explore notions of self value, feminine beauty, isolation and alienation in todays culture.

So, when I'm taking a picture, from the moment I pick up my camera and take my first test shot, I'm thinking about these elements, and how I will convey them in my work. It isn't quite fashion, nor fine art, but a tear between the two, and there's nothing wrong with that. Every detail in the shot has to make sense because the aim of my work is that you feel something, anything, maybe even sadness or anger.

How do you achieve the “fairytale” look on your photos?

Concept, styling, props, location, photoshop and of course, model. Living in Ireland, I'm really blessed with having an endless supply of "fairytale" looking locations just outside my doorstep, so naturally, I use this to my advantage. Sometimes the weather is bad if we're working outdoors, but shooting doesn't take that long so we can just take our shots, and move on. "Rainy light" sometimes makes pictures more interesting anyway! In photoshop I pay particular attention to the tones I'm using in the shot, mostly on how I'm effecting the shadows. It takes a lot of trial and error in post to create some pieces, but it's usually worth it in the end.

What has photography done for you?

Photography has literally been a window of opportunity for me. And, I'm grateful to have been welcomed into this community with open arms. I've gotten to meet and work with some of the most amazing people, and now call some friends. Since I've entered into this photography world I feel that it has helped me develop as a person, I've definitely grown and learned from my experiences. Photography was also a way of escape. (Better than therapy in my opinion!) It helped me cope with depression and anxieties when they arose and when I'm working for myself (my conceptual work), I treat it a lot more personal and emotional. My fine art pieces become my obsession, they need time and care to grow and become perfect.

What is it that you love about photography?

The one thing I love about photography, is the freedom. I don't constricted in my frame or composition, as long as I have the right lens and software. I can edit different colours in, or take them out, I can make dresses bigger, even add creatures into the frame. I am allowed to create whatever I want, whenever I want, and with the right team behind the scenes, the pictures come out a success. And that's a really special thing to be able to say. Knowing that women in some cultures are not given freedom of expression. It's a privilege that a lot of us take for granted

What are your 3 tips for others who want to become better photographers?

NeverLimit Yourself. To anything at all. If you want to do something, no matter how long it takes, or how hard it is, just DO IT. And never tell yourself "I can't do that." Yes you can, you're just not trying hard enough.

Test, Test, Test. If you're polite to people and ask nicely, you'll always find someone who's willing to test with you. The best way to learn to be a better photographer is to learn as you go. Experiment and try out different poses, angles, techniques, lighting set ups.

The Internet. Nearly everyone who owns a camera, and can work one, and take great pictures, has a blog, or does tutorials and publishes them online. If you're stuck with a problem, google it!

 

Are you an emotional or conceptual photographer?

Honestly, on first impressions I don't think someone would view me as a conceptual person, if you've known me for a while then it's a different playing field all together. I like my work to speak for it's self and if you're looking at a conceptual piece, then I want it to be read as such. I am a visual artist after all! When I started taking pictures, I had no plans on becoming a conceptual photographer though, it seemed to develop over time. I was always interested in portraiture and including a person into the frame, but there's only so many different poses you can do on a shoot before it gets a bit boring! I can easily see how I transitioned from standard portraiture to conceptual fashion. Now, when shooting, whether a concept is planned or unplanned, there will always be an element of "self value, famine beauty, isolation and alienation" in my work.

 

If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?

Tim Walker. Words cannot explain my reason behind this. Research his work and you'll see why I'd love his gift!

Checkout more of lisagriffin's images and follow her to see her latest uploads.