Posted by Workbook on 02/26/2015 — Filed under: Features, Headline, Interviews, Photography
Photographer Lisa Adams
was recently interviewed by Nicole Weingartner for APA National
and the article makes for excellent reading. We've included a few excerpts from the article and several examples of Lisa's food and drink work. Click HERE
for the full article and check out her Workbook Portfolio
A Boopie glass of plump, chocolate pudding waits to be eaten on a flowing brown ribbon. A candy cane is made out of a layered cherry parfait. A timeworn shaving kit becomes a story of little trinkets and treasures. Don’t see it yet? You will.
Still life photographer Lisa Adams has a knack for transforming ordinary objects into ethereal pieces with lighting, mood and composition. When we see mundane objects, she sees a lyrical image, where each item becomes part of a bigger story that incites our emotions—emotions of a lucid childhood memory, distaste or a craving for a food, or colors that stir a particular fascination.
How did you become a photographer? And how did you become interested in still life?
In college, I started taking classes in design and photography which was a total deviation from my English literature and Physics direction. I initially saw the design and photography as electives that might help boost my GPA. I didn’t really think much about it until one of my professors pulled me aside to compliment a recent project. I thanked her and commented that, “it was easy.” That was when the light bulb went off... the realization that I might actually be good at this was the catalyst for what has now become a 28-year-long fascinating career.
My first assisting job was with a studio that had a lifestyle and still shooter. I worked with the tyrannical still shooter (he liked to throw things and expletives) but occasionally I assisted the lifestyle shooter and quickly learned that I had incredible patience when dealing with inert objects but not so much when it came to people. I really love that I have such control with stills and food! They stay where I put them, don’t talk back and never say “no”. Of course food can die or melt, but I can forgive that!
Exactly what do you want to say or portray through your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that? What’s your technique?
I’m most happy with my work when I feel like I’ve created a “lyrical” image, one that expresses emotion and evokes emotion. It’s all about revealing the subject matter in a beautiful way, through lighting and composition and creating a mood that’s reflective of the subject itself.
Hopefully the image is telling a short story and inciting the imagination of the viewer. I’m usually shooting bright, airy and graphic with a distinctive color palette or dark and moody with pops of color. I like mixing soft light with hard directional light. The hard light intensifies color and pulls out texture plus it adds crisp bright highlights and deep shadows that create depth and dimension.
I shoot with SinarP2's outfitted with Multi-shot capable Hasselblad CF-39 backs. If necessary, I'll also shoot with a Hasselblad H3D-31. I've always shot large format... it’s definitely my preference. I love all of the control available with a 4x5. Am I starting to sound like a control freak?
Clients love the live video available with the Phocus software, they can see everything as it’s happening, and it’s a great collaborative tool! I still use Speedotron lighting. Those packs are like tanks!