1.What is your name?
Lisa Oechsli – my last name is of Swiss origin and is pronounced X-Lee.
Just drop the O and it all makes sense!
2.What is your quest?
That is a tough question to answer in a few words! Personally, I strive to maintain close-knit community with my family. I have purposefully worked to build strong relationships with my now grown children, their spouses and my beautiful grandies. Nothing could be more precious to me.
Professionally, I would like to take my photography to a level that can sustain me, while touching people in some way. When I am out shooting, obviously I am drawn to what moves me. Yet, I also consider my potential clients and what will appeal to them on a visual and emotional level. I want my work to take people somewhere else, to make them wonder, to evoke a memory, to open minds, make ‘em think, cry, smile, or giggle! It has to do one or all of those things to be worthy to go home with someone.
3.What is your favorite color?
I love black. Some say that it is not a color. But I say that black is every color all mixed together! Otherwise, I am drawn to various colors and tones at different times… I honestly do not have a favorite!
4.How did you get your start in photography and how long have you been shooting?
I fell into photography in high school after dropping a computer programming class. It was love at first shot! Of course, that’s been awhile, as I got my start with film. After high school, my priorities shifted to raising my two children. In recent years, I have been able to re-discover my passion for shooting. I can’t WAIT for Spring!
I must admit that I have yet to learn Photoshop. I love the effects people get when they use it and I guess it is a necessary evil that is going to win me over. I am resistant to it. I am somewhat of a purist where my photos are concerned. It feels like cheating to me. But I know that I have to give the people what they want in some ways. Be patient with me.
5.You’ve won some awesome local awards. What were they and where can we find your work around town?
I was lucky enough to shoot “Burning Rye” in a burned out apartment building. The shot was captured just as you see it – I did not stage it as people often think. I received 2nd place in the black and white category of the 2009 Literary LEO and 3rd place in the black and white unclassified category of the 2010Kentucky State Fair. I even had someone track me down to purchase that photo, which was a real honor.
I also once received an honorable mention at the Kentucky State Fair for an old 35mm black and white shot of my son when he was a young lad.
My work can be found at Solidarity (gallery and store) at 1609 Bardstown Road. It is just across the street from Book and Music Exchange. I also have a “fan” page on Facebook… Solidarity Photography.
6.You not only shoot fine art photography but you shoot portrait/bands/etc…tell me more about it.
My favorite way to shoot is simply to hit the streets and find interesting subject matter. Most of the time for me this is architectural and/or organic. But thanks to the trust and encouragement of friends, I have done portrait work for children and adults, including Ms. Slutty Muffin, herself! Most of my work is natural and I prefer to shoot outdoors when the weather permits.
I have photographed the home-births of two of my grandchildren and hope to do that on a professional level. I have recently taken on the job of shooting my son-in-law’s tattoo work for his portfolio. My son was in a local band and I gained a lot of experience working with them on promo shots and live performance photography. All of these opportunities have helped me to grow personally and professionally and have exposed me to various shooting environments. Throw it at me!
7.Ted Grand said, “When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!” Do you agree?
To a large degree, yes. I have select photos of people in color that I feel evoke emotion and spirituality. But for the most part, I prefer to shoot/print people in black and white. Patterned clothing and busy surroundings can ruin a shot. They distract the eye and deaden the impact of the subject’s energy. Black and white photography has a voice and draws you into the photograph somehow. It is almost magical!
8.Who is your favorite photographer?
Honestly, I do not have a particular photographer that I follow. I appreciate the work of ‘amateurs’ just as much as professionals. Of course, the pros generally have access to all kinds of amazing equipment that lends to the outcome of their work. But I have seen some beautiful photographs just perusing my friends’ facebook pages! I don’t think it has to come from a pro to be amazing!!!!
9.Visually, what are the 3 most beautiful films you’ve ever watched?
Well, I don’t know that these are the top three, but a few that come to mind are The Fountain, Sunshine, What Dreams May Come…. I am told that Hero is stunning and I have it on my list!
10.What’s a typical day like for you?
I really don’t have a typical day at this point in my life, which is a good thing. I might be sleeping in, opening Solidarity, meeting a friend for tea, shooting, or all of those things!
As I said, my family is very important to me and we spend a lot of time together. Actually, we purchased a triplex about 2 years ago. I have the first floor apartment, my daughter and her family have the second floor, and my son and his family have the third floor. It’s cool because we each have our own space but can easily come together whenever we want and no one has to drive anywhere!
I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend attending local theater, art shows and hanging out with friends, having a drink and/or singing some karaoke! We both love meeting and interacting with people. Everyone has something pretty cool to offer if we just take the time to listen and learn!
And of course, I have tea with the Queen at every opportunity!
I am currently seeking part-time work that will allow me to continue my commitment to Solidarity and allow me time to hone my skills and become a better photographer, so that one day it will be my true source of sustenance. I think I just have to believe it harder.
Big thanks to Lisa for supporting this project from the very beginning. She took photos for my very first post! Check out her lovely photography skills HERE.