What you shoot, what you find beautiful, and what you feel is yours. It is all up to you. Traveler and photographer Lisa Smit shares with us her personal world through her meandering images. Our short chat with her suddenly made us crave for star-lit nights, warm cups of coffee, and a day out shooting scenes and views we can burn into our memory.
Hello, Lisa! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine! We’re so glad to have you. Please, introduce yourself.
Hi! I'm Lisa. A 26-year old coffee addict living and working in the Netherlands.
How did you start your journey with photography?
I started experimenting with photos around 8 years ago or so - I slowly rolled into it when I got hold of my own camera. I realized it was a pleasant way of "communicating", to capture my thoughts, emotions, and feelings on an image. Before that, I took photos here and there, and when I was a little kid we used to have our family projector evening with my mom's homemade pizza every 2 weeks or so.
How would you define photography?
As what it originally means: writing/playing with light.
What’s your favorite thing about it?
It eases my mind in hectic situations. It’s simple and quick. Taking photos keeps me focused. I take in the environment much more consciously. But also it is a way of remembering daily life. Where I used to go, who I used to be with and which roads I walked down. A documentation of my private life.
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?
When it is personal it is good in my eyes. But the personal aspect has to be mutual; personally captured by the photographer and personally perceived by the viewer. I can stare at a photograph over and over again when there is something in particular that captures my attention. What that particular "thing" is, can change per photograph.
What’s your favorite subject?
Picking favorites isn't my strongest point, to be honest. I can't pick one - give me all. It is whatever I can surround myself with.
What influences your style/work?
My daily life. From emotions to friends and from travels to the human body.
What are the things you consider when shooting a photograph?
Light, composition, colors, my own mood. Everything has to come together at that one certain moment. However, I prefer not to create it, but for it to happen and to stumble upon it, so to say. I'd call myself "the observer".
How do you stay creative? How do you deal with creative block?
As a matter of fact, it comes in waves. That's also why I do not experience it as "blocks". It is just a period where I am less feeling like taking photos. I still haven't figured out what exactly causes these "mood swings". There are periods where I feel more like expressing myself or something. It is like an outlet. Actually, I think it is good to have a bit of a block every now and then - to reconsider what you are doing. It is unnatural to be at an all-time high consistently. Then again, having these so-called blocks is not influencing my photographs or my life, because I have the freedom to take photos whenever I feel like it, as photography is not my primary source of income. Hence I don't think I would ever be able to do this commercially.
We are loving your travel photos and your personal work as well. They just feel so honest and real. How did you discover this particular style?
It came natural, in an environment I trust on one hand but on the other hand travel excites me - new places, new people: the unknown.
How does travel fit in your photographic work? Any planned trips in the near future?
I'd say travel is a big part of my photographic work. Especially desolate landscapes. But mountains and rainforests make me a happy woman too. I have no future trips planned, unfortunately. All tips and exciting destinations or people are welcome!
What was your favorite trip so far? Any unforgettable experiences from your travels that you’d like to share?
Another favorite! Tough one. I guess it would be my time in Australia and New Zealand. Firstly because it was my first big trip on my own, outside of Europe. But secondly, because I had a great time there. I moved to Melbourne for half a year to finish an internship. Afterward, I traveled through the outback of Australia, ending up in the far north before crossing Queensland all the way east and heading down to Sydney again. After that, I drove down the highways of New Zealand with a good friend and ended up living in Darwin for a few months. I met quite some amazing people that year. And of course, the landscapes were absolutely stunning.
Where do you get your inspiration?
The people surrounding me, travel new impressions. There is so much that can inspire me.
What would you like to express when it comes to your photography?
It is mainly personal moments of my life. Often I do not necessarily have an intention to express anything, but it is more meant for saving it as a memory.
What other areas of photography are you looking to explore?
I'd like to try 120 film. And I am actually still secretly dreaming of my own darkroom. Maybe one day.
What was the most challenging thing you’ve encountered in your work? Would you mind sharing it with our readers?
My camera breaking down while on holiday. It was on a trip to Prague. I can still see it falling down the stairs and the back popping open, exposing the film. The photographs turned out to be covered in light leaks, which gave them quite an eerie look. Dealing with this kind of setback can be quite challenging.
How would you describe your style in five words?
Personal, intimate, honest and natural documentary.
If you could replace photography with one thing, what would it be?
To keep my brain creative, I'd say painting. I love playing with watercolors, but also all other sorts of paint, on different kinds of paper.
What would you be if you weren’t a photographer?
My true profession is medicine. So that's actually what I am - a medical doctor.
How does a perfect day look like for Lisa Smit?
Slow mornings and a few coffees. That's for sure. The rest of the day all depends on where I am on that perfect day. Am I allowed to pick that as well? I'd say something involving a hike, campfire, cocktails, dancing, starlit skies. Too bad a day only has 24 hours.
What are your other hobbies outside of photography and traveling?
Cycling, buying plants, reading, painting, cuddling my rabbit, making carrot cake, and I actually want to spend more time cooking. I also enjoy visiting homeware shops and going for walks on the beach or so. Future hobbies might include making pretty clothes, furniture or home-brewed delicious ciders and beers.
Any photographer/artist that you follow religiously?
If you could pick one place to spend the rest of your life in, where would that be?
I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life in one place. That sounds depressing. Please let me spend it all over the world.
What are the top 5 songs that everyone should absolutely have on their playlist while traveling?
Fleetwood Mac, The Smiths, Bonobo, Boards of Canada, and for that long road trip, some good old '90s/ '00 tunes (think: TLC, Justin Timberlake, Destiny's Child.)
Any last words for our readers?
I guess all has been said.