Location: New Zealand
5th November, 2013 -
INTERNATIONAL photographer, Lisa Powers, wins prestigious Distinction Award from the Royal Photographic Society, UK. The Society is the oldest and most august photography organisation of its kind in the world.
In order to gain a Distinction, a photographer has to submit a portfolio for approval by a highly qualified Panel of Fellows of the Society.
Lisa Powers’ impressive images won the Associateship Distinctions for exceptional standards of excellence, the Society has announced.
The Distinction award was based on the strength of her submitted images in the category of Commercial and Applied Photography. One of her images appears on the cover of the current issue of the Royal Photographic Society Journal.
Lisa was born in France and emigrated to New York with her family when she was ten years old. She was raised primarily in New York and California. Her entry into advertising came when she chanced to see a “Help Wanted” advert looking for a proofreader in a boutique agency and was hired. Within a year, she became more involved in the creative department and was given opportunities to hire photographers, models and crews for photo shoots.
“It was an exciting time for me,” she says, “and marked my first step on the journey to becoming a photographer.” After a year of orchestrating photo shoots for the agency’s clients, she decided she wanted to shoot the photos herself, She left the ad agency and was hired by a busy commercial photo studio as the cleaner/janitor. It was there that she taught herself lighting, exposure, films, developing and printing… and, “the BEST part” was that the entire studio, with all equipment and spacious darkroom, was available to her after everyone else had gone home.
“I saw the studio’s vast space with its huge infinity cove as an oversized canvas… I experimented with all the different lights and the effect each had on different films… I didn’t know the rules. I mixed daylight with tungsten; I pushed and pulled film processing; I played with many photo filters etc, and earned a bit of money shooting models’ portfolios.”
Lisa’s work was greatly influenced by classic ‘film noir’ and early Technicolor movies.
Asian films were also favourites… especially post WWII Japanese films, showing the transition from traditional Japanese to Western styles in urban centres. She eventually traveled to Japan, and formed a photography and design studio with well-known Japanese designer and airbrush artist, Taki Ono. In 2004, Lisa left the US, and relocated (with her four kitties) to Christchurch, New Zealand.
“I’d been a very successful commercial photographer for many years and continue to take assignments,” she explains, “but felt it was time to journey inwards and practice “seeing” rather than “staging”. I see art all around...randomly and spontaneously…then it’s time for quietly sorting, editing, arranging and grouping my photographs for books, for exhibitions, or simply for the walls.”
Lisa’s artful black & white images of Christchurch in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes, are part of the International Print exhibition touring the UK, and will also be exhibited in New York.
This year, Lisa completed writing and photo-illustrating her first children’s book, titled, “Benny and the Goldfish” based on a true story of a rescue cat who rescued a goldfish after the earthquakes in Christchurch.
Lisa will be receiving a certificate and a badge from the President of the Society enabling her to use the letters ARPS after her name.