Lisa Aikenhead - Local Photographer
10/06/2017 03:22PM ● Published by Style
Gallery: Photographer Lisa Aikenhead [8 Images] Click any image to expand.
Lisa Aikenhead began showing her photography in 2008, after producing numerous captivating wildlife and landscape images. In addition to being a member of the Placerville Arts Association and El Dorado Hills Arts Association, she also displays her award-winning work at the Gold Country Artists’ Gallery, where she’s this month’s featured artist. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet Aikenhead at the gallery’s Third Saturday ArtWalk celebration (October 21) before she heads to Kenya with a group of fellow photogs.
HLB: How dId your journey as a photographer begin?
LA: Since I was a child, I’ve loved taking photographs and have always been driven to become a better photographer. While I love other art forms (I play fiddle and mandolin), photography is the form through which my soul shines. Previously, my career was in nonprofit management; in this spirit, I donate a percentage of all sales to wildlife and wilderness conservation and protection efforts.
HLB: What inspires you to snap the shutter?
LA: I’ve carried a poem in my wallet for 25 years, an Inuit song published in the book Earth Prayers. It concludes: And yet, there is only one great thing, the only thing: to live to see in huts and on journeys/The great day that dawns, and the light that fills the world. I want my photographs grounded in the beauty of this poem. My work represents a search for peace, refuge and solace within me. My best photographs are made when my heart is wide open and my feet are grounded. More than documenting another pretty place I’ve seen, however, I yearn to create work that kindles love and honor for the world of the wild living things, and holds the fragility and beauty of humankind with tenderness and respect.
HLB: Has there been a significant moment with your nature photography?
LA: [My photo] The Chase: Wolves in Yellowstone captures one of the most thrilling moments of my career. Winter in Yellowstone is exhilarating with its snowy landscapes, steaming geyser basins, and unparalleled opportunities to witness the drama of wildlife surviving the frigid cold and ice. Last year, I observed and photographed a pack of wolves hunting bison in the Lamar Valley. Although I didn’t witness a successful kill, I was in awe of the sophisticated communication and cooperation employed by the wolves, as well as the tenacity and endurance it takes to bring down a 2,000-pound bison. Watching the beauty, grace and strength of the wolves, along with the stamina and immense power of the bison, was a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
HLB: What do you hope viewers take away?
LA: I’ve seen people wander past [my photos] without a second glance, [and those who] stop in their tracks by a particular piece that draws them in. Some people might see my work as a brief entertaining distraction, while others want to return to a photograph repeatedly because it awakens their own yearnings. I love seeing a spark light up the eyes of someone who has an emotional response to my photography. When that happens, it feels like I’m meeting a kindred spirit. Making that connection is one of the greatest privileges of being an artist.