RELAXED NATURAL By Andrea Louise Thomas
an Antonio, Texas, changed the course of Mt. Eliza photographer, Lisa Atkinson’s life. When she was 16, she decided to spend a year as an exchange student in an American high school. With a blank spot in her class schedule, she took a stab at something new; she slotted in the mysteriously nebulous offering called ‘Industrial Arts’. It turned out to be photography. She learned to use a manual camera, develop film and make her own prints in the soft red glow of the school’s darkroom. She was mesmerised by the process of seeing her images come to life in front of her eyes. After high school, she travelled abroad. On her return she considered taking photography at university, but heard from peers that the university course was too intense. She didn’t want to feel discouraged or lose her passion so she continued to teach herself photography and studied interior design at university instead. While working in interior design, a colleague, who had seen some of her photographic work, asked if she would photograph his wedding. Having never photographed a wedding, she felt a bit daunted, but he reassured her by saying they just wanted some relaxed shots of the day where there happened to be a girl in a dress and a guy in a suit. There began her passion for photographing weddings in a photojournalistic, fly-on-the-wall style, which was unusual at a time when most wedding photos were highly staged. Ultimately her choice of study at university had a major impact on her photographic work. From her knowledge and experience with interior design she eventually followed a different creative path. “I reinvented my photographic career about five years ago. I’d been photographing weddings for 15 years and I decided to come back to interiors, but from a photographic point of view. Now I can appreciate and interpret other’s people’s design through my camera,” she says.
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Published on Oct 17, 2014