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{low down, throw down} with Lisa Lefkowitz

{H.D. Thoreau}

Beautiful flakes of sunlight and life. That's what I see when I look at the gorgeous photography of Lisa Lefkowitz. I am so thrilled to have Lisa share herself with us on The Maternal Lens. I am a great admirer of her work. She captures emotion so effortlessly in her photography. I can revisit the same image time and again and feel something different and see deeper into the frame. I love when that happens and it happens a lot with her work. The organic beauty of film that makes my heart skip a beat. Lisa gets it. Captures it. And we're so lucky to have her share it. With great pleasure, I introduce you to the amazing Lisa Lefkowitz. xo.

photo credit: jose villa

Name: Lisa Lefkowitz
Business name: Lisa Lefkowitz Photography
Location: San Francisco, California
Website/Blog: www.lisalefkowitz.com | www.lisalefkowitz.net

Tell us one sentence to describe your photography: Lifestyle wedding photography.


What's one thing that everyone should know about you?: I love shooting film! Its Fine Art process and classic look underlies
my approach to weddings from start to finish.


How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started:

I've been taking pictures for 18 years (since I was 16.) I first learned photography back in high school and quickly knew that it was what I wanted to spend my life doing. I shot my first wedding ten or eleven years ago, after trying my hand in the Fine Art and editorial worlds, and again knew pretty quickly that I'd found my niche.


If they made a movie about your life, what would it be titled and who would play you?
Photo Nerd: The Life of a Basketball-Playing, Baby-Loving Mama-Wife-Picture-Taker. Hmm, I'd have to go with Abbie Cornish as the lead.

What change are you looking most forward to this year...both professionally and personally?
I'm looking forward to creating more balance in my life between being a mama and being a business owner. I'm looking forward to launching my two-day workshop (www.lisalefkowitzworkshops.com) on the heels of my WPPI Platform for Fujifilm and am also excited to speak again at PDN's PhotoPlus Expo in NYC in October!


When you take pictures just for you, what are they of?: Usually my family/baby.

If you were given $500 today, what would be the first thing you would do?: Donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Where do you go to find inspiration?: Browsing the Internet, looking at photo books, nature, my daughter.

What is your best post processing tip?: Don't do any - shoot film.

What would you tell someone who is just starting up a photography business?:
Develop your own unique artistic vision by shooting up a storm. Make the images you want to make, not the ones you think you should be making. Once you create a body of work that is true to who you are as an artist, you'll find your right client base. From there, develop a strong brand from collateral through website through deliverables that speaks to that clientele. A strong brand is the best investment you can make to help support your work and help you stand out from your peers. Once you've done all that, network with local vendors and wedding planners, form referral groups with other photographers, Tweet, Facebook, blog and get your work out there!

What color paint is your bedroom? Why? What about your bathroom?
Our bedroom is a rich deep blue. We wanted to feel enveloped. The bathroom is white. We have a crazy 1930s bathroom with pink tiles, so the walls really had to be white.


What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?:
I shoot primarily with my medium format film camera - the Contax 645. I also shoot digitally with a Canon 5D Mark II and 5D. And also shoot 35mm film with my Canon EOS-3s. If I could only have one lens it would be the 80mm f2 Contax lens.

What session idea are you dying to do, but just don't know how to pull it off?:I'm hoping to shoot more Maternity sessions this year. I'm not the best at posing pregnant women, but want to get better.

Do you have a hidden talent? Or a stupid human trick?:
I love to play basketball and before I had my baby last year I played in several leagues. I still play about once a week in a pick-up game where I'm the only woman.

What was your first paid session like? Were you nervous? Did it turn out how you wanted?:
My first paid session was when I was 17 years old. I was working as an intern to the Photo Editor for US Magazine in NYC, which
back then was more like what People is like today. I shot a portrait of one of the contributing writers, on a rooftop in Manhattan. I was SO nervous,shaking in my pants. I shot 35mm b&w film. It didn't turn out how I wanted exactly, but I wasn't too disappointed. The teeny image ranin the intro to the magazine. I was just pretty darn thrilled to have an image published at such a young age in a national magazine. I was so lucky to have that opportunity. The photo editor, Rachel Knepfer, really took me under her wing, and was a huge influence on me. She introduced me to lifestyle photography which obviously has influenced my wedding work.

What music do you love? Do you have a favorite song of all time?: I like lots of music, all types really. I'm horrible at coming up
with artists that I like. So I'll tell you that I listened to a TON of Led Zeppelin growing up :) Our first dance song at our wedding was Nick Drake's Pink Moon.


What is at the top of your wish list right now?:To shoot all outdoor weddings :)

Tell us the best advice that you have ever received (photography related or life in general):
In your business, outsource as much as you can so you can focus on doing what you're good at and enjoy most.

If you had an entire Saturday to do whatever you wanted...what would you do?:
Spend it with my husband and baby going out to brunch, playing with our dog and lounging around. Then I'd play some basketball. And eat Indian Pizza. And play Wii Rock Band. All at once.

When you look back at your life, what are you most proud of?:
My daughter, making images that I love, building a business, finding a way to make a living in a creatively fulfilling career.

How do you get a connection between you and your client?: I'm just my dorky old self. I tell lots of silly jokes. I say let's just take "one more" a lot. A lot a lot. I'm also pretty good at feeling people out and tailoring my interactions with them based on their personalities. I'm bolder with outgoing people, more quiet with shy ones.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?:Hopefully still shooting weddings, enjoying my kids, maybe doing more workshops. Campaigning for analog when it's about to die a digital death.

And lastly.....when we started the maternal lens, all of us filled out this questionnaire and shared our answers....now it's your turn :)

What is your favorite word? Creative
What is your least favorite word? No
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Nice people
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Mean people
What sound or noise do you love? My baby saying "Mama"
What sound or noise do you hate? Nails on a blackboard
What is your favorite thing to say when you get mad? Crap
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Teacher
What profession would you not like to do? Garbage collector
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Sorry, I have trouble with that question as I'm not religious.


  1. Alison3/31/2011

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos!

  2. Mandy Rae3/31/2011

    There is something so beautiful about film photograph that digital will never be able to capture. I tip my hat to film users. Beautiful work, Lisa.

  3. Anonymous3/31/2011

    Well said. I'm a photographer, and also a fan of yours. Cheers.


  4. Anonymous3/31/2011

    Thanks so much for the feature ladies!

  5. This is a fabulous feature article!! I enjoyed it so much :)

  6. Lisa seems like the sweetest ever!


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