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Interview with Lisa-MariePhotog

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 27, 2018, 6:00 AM
Catwalk Talk

This month I interviewed Lisa-MariePhotog !  Lisa is a Scottish-born photographer currently living in Canada. Despite the fact that she's only been on DeviantArt for 4 years, her gallery is filled with wonderfully dreamy and colorful photographs that never fail to leave me in awe! I hope you enjoy reading about her work straight from the artist herself! :heart: 

What made you decide to photograph people? And was fashion the type of photography you first started out creating?

When I first started falling in love with photography, I was interested in all genres. I really wasn’t sure what my main focus was going to be until I enrolled in University studying photography. Food photography became an instant love for me and was the genre I was going to pursue as a career. During my second year of University, we had an assignment to photograph a classmate using different studio lighting such as side lighting, butterfly, Rembrandt etc. I remember feeling so proud of the images I produced but my teacher took one look at them and looked at me and said, “People aren’t your thing.” I remember feeling so crushed and disheartened. I wanted to prove him wrong. The entire summer before my final year I spent creating concepts, finding models, styling and doing the makeup myself just so I could keep practicing. By the time our final year was over and our portfolio night was upon us, my entire portfolio was of fashion and beauty. I fell in love with it completely and knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. If it wasn’t for my teacher telling me that all those years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 
Kasda by Lisa-MariePhotog

Please,  briefly describe your fashion photography style.                                           

I would describe my photography style as feminine, ethereal, clean, and at times edgy. Depending on the concept I am going for, my style changes and evolves. I can go from shooting something soft and fairy-tale inspired to something more dark and moody. 

Are you self-taught or formally educated in photography? And if you're self-taught, what resources have you found to be the most helpful on your journey?


I took three photography courses in high school then enrolled at Grant MacEwan University in Alberta, Canada majoring in Design and Photography. Although it taught me the fundamentals, it was researching and practicing and developing my style that really helped shape me as a photographer. 

Rhythm of the Night by Lisa-MariePhotog
Do you think in this age of technology that photography is "easier" or more "accessible?" And does this matter for the industry?

I think everyone thinks photography is easy. I was one of them before I started. I quickly realized that there was so much more to photography than I ever imagined. Nowadays with camera phones, it’s much easier for people to snap and go. What I love about photography is that it’s an industry that constantly keeps growing. You will never fully know everything about photography because there is always new techniques and equipment. I love that. There are always new things to learn and experiment. 

Norma Jean by Lisa-MariePhotog
What do you find most inspirational for your creativity?                                                                 


For me, I think the most inspirational thing is that I am always trying new things. I like to try new things and experiment. Whether it’s lighting, editing or just something I have never done regarding fashion or beauty. I try and think outside of the box. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I find the latest trend I am seeing with photography is the dark and moody editing with muted and desaturated tones. While I’ve done that myself, I edit depending on the shoot and I absolutely love shooting colour right now. Yellow, orange and blue are some of my go-to colours at the moment. Another thing that I don’t think a lot of people know is that I almost gave up photography a few years ago. I was so down on myself and my work as a photographer that I almost sold my camera and lighting. But my Mum was the one who pushed me. She told me to go shoot something, shoot something just for you and no one else. That really pulled me out of my own head and brought me back to the realization that this is what I love to do and what I want to do with the rest of my life. 

 The Garden of Eden #2 by Lisa-MariePhotog
Do you plan out your photoshoots extensively beforehand? Or are you a bit more spontaneous when creating a fashion series?


It depends on the shoot or concept. What I’ve found over the years is that the original concept I have in my mind, usually never ends up going exactly as planned. Those end up being my favourite shoots! My beauty shoots usually start off simple and we build up and once we’re finished, we just go wild and those end up being the shots we love the most. Sometimes you need to do a spontaneous shoot just for fun, I find it keeps my creativity flowing. 

What has been the most important piece of advice you've been given on photography? And what advice would you give to a fashion photographer trying to start out?


The most important piece of advice I’ve been given is to keep shooting and that’s honestly my best piece of advice. During my seminars I have people come up and ask me “How do I get better?” and I tell them to keep shooting. That’s what I did. I shot as much as I could, every concept I could think of. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. There are going to be photoshoots that you may end up not liking as much as others and sometimes you may struggle portraying the concept you want but that’s okay! Try again. And again. Keep shooting until you are 100% happy that you have fulfilled what you want. Don’t give up. Even when you feel discouraged or are feeling like you aren’t progressing. 

Baby Doll by Lisa-MariePhotog
What is your favorite and/or most successful photo-shoot you've created?               

That’s so hard to decide! I have so many favourites. One that sticks out to me has to be my “Twisted Fairytale” shoot which I shot in December 2015. We had such an amazing team for that shoot. It all started when a friend of mine, who is a wedding dress designer from Vancouver, came back to visit and she had brought some of her new collection along. We wanted to do something completely different than the normal “bridal shoot” and since I am a fashion photographer, we put our own dark twist on it. Each dress would be based on a different Disney princess but would have a moodier edge to it. The first image I took was a test shot and I entered it in a contest a few months later, just for fun. It actually ended up winning the contest and it opened so many doors for me and gave me so many opportunities. If I hadn’t entered that contest, I probably wouldn’t be here today. 
                                                                    Twisted Fairytale by Lisa-MariePhotog

Putting together teams for photoshoots can be difficult, and many new photographers don't know where to start. How do you find people to work with? What kinds of qualities do you look for in a creative team?

When I started, I knew no one. I put out a model call on Kijiji and ended up befriended the model who replied. She became my muse for the first little bit of my “fashion” journey and I would do the makeup, style the shoot and even do the hair. It wasn’t until my work started being noticed around my city and models started following me that I was able to network. I joined some Facebook groups and through that I met some wonderful models and makeup artists that I still work with today. Nowadays, I look for a good quality portfolio. Depending on the concept I’m shooting, whether its beauty or fashion, I look for a team that I feel can pull off what I am looking for. A good thing I’ve learned is to do a test shoot with a model and makeup artist. This allows you to see if they will be a good fit for your creative ideas. 

Martina by Lisa-MariePhotog
How do you connect with your models when they're in front of the camera? Do you do lots of model directing on photoshoots?  


I’m very lucky that I work with wonderful models that model for their profession, but I do still direct when needed. During the time when the model is getting her makeup done, I love to spend time with them and get to know them. It really helps break that wall down when you get to know them on a personal level. I also play some music during the shoot. One thing I do, that people laugh at me for because they think its funny, is every shot I take I always mumble “Beautiful. Gorgeous. Love that. Stunning. Wow!” I find when you’re telling the model she’s doing a good job and giving them feedback, they relax much faster. We always have a giggle about that and that definitely eases them into the shoot. If you want a particular look or pose, don’t be afraid to tell the model. When I first started, I was so scared to speak up and there were so many times I wanted the model to pose a certain way but didn’t want to “offend” them. Throughout the years, I am more direct with what I am looking for, even before the shoot starts and during the shoot. The model can’t read your mind; so if you want something specific, tell them. They want to bring your vision to life also so they are always open to being directed. 

What kind of goals are you currently working towards with your photography?

I will be taking a break from photography come fall as I am expecting my first baby! I will be back to shooting sometime next year. I’m so incredibly blessed that the goals I set for myself when I graduated, I have far exceeded. I just strive to keep creating my art and I am so lucky that I get to do what I love for a living. I hope to keep hosting my seminars, writing articles for magazines and eventually hosting bigger workshops all over the world. The ultimate dream? Shooting exclusively for Vogue. What fashion photographer doesn’t dream of that! 

More work by Lisa-MariePhotog    :heart:

Retro by Lisa-MariePhotog Grace by Lisa-MariePhotog
Anya by Lisa-MariePhotog
Baby Blues by Lisa-MariePhotog Met Gala by Lisa-MariePhotog
Hold Me Close by Lisa-MariePhotog  Black and White by Lisa-MariePhotog
Billee and Emily by Lisa-MariePhotog
Quality Street by Lisa-MariePhotog Sasha by Lisa-MariePhotog
Audrey Hepburn by Lisa-MariePhotog
Dripping in Gold by Lisa-MariePhotog Young and Beautiful by Lisa-MariePhotog
Nathalie by Lisa-MariePhotog
Little House on the Prairie by Lisa-MariePhotog Cruella de Jill by Lisa-MariePhotog


Catwalk Talk is...

  "Catwalk Talk" is a monthly series of interviews by Queen-Kitty . The interviews will be with up-and-coming as well as established DeviantArt fashion photographers, where you get to find out about the person behind the camera! Each interview is meant to inspire and inform. 

Skin by UszatyArbuz
Add a Comment:
ne2d2 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Very good interview. Well thought questions and a very nice portfolio to show
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018   Photographer
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
GrantExploit Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Wait, "only" 4 years?! Confused Hol up, Imma get some data. (Randomizing 20 deviants, bold means younger account than Lisa-MariePhotog):
  1. Dec 27, 2013
  2. Nov 29, 2009
  3. Jul 25, 2018
  4. Aug 5, 2006
  5. May 11, 2013
  6. Jan 10, 2013
  7. Mar 11, 2016
  8. Sep 15, 2016
  9. May 21, 2013
  10. Mar 13, 2009
  11. Nov 29, 2014
  12. Jan 25, 2014 (so close...)
  13. Nov 24, 2010
  14. Feb 2, 2010
  15. Dec 6, 2014
  16. Dec 18, 2007
  17. Oct 19, 2015
  18. Aug 16, 2010
  19. Apr 28, 2013
  20. Feb 19, 2013
Woah, I actually did not expect that DeviantArt's average userbase has been on here for that long. (Due to deviation counts, I expected sometime in early 2015 to be the median.)
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018   Photographer
I've been here for 11 years, anything under 5 seems young to me :giggle:
GretheFenyx Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Professional Photographer
Hahaha nope, most of us have been here for ages - I've been here since 2006! :D
GrantExploit Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, you're an exception: The median in that dataset is still early May 2013, which even I at 18 years old don't consider "ages" ago in any way, especially as I was already browsing it at the time. Self-referential/"Dank" memery hadn't fully developed at that time, though.
GretheFenyx Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Professional Photographer
This is wonderful, love her work! :heart:
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Photographer
So glad you enjoyed it! She is a wonderful artist :heart:
GretheFenyx Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Professional Photographer
For sure! :heart: 
Add a Comment:

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Building DeviantArt's ARG

Before DeviantArt Eclipse would be revealed to the world (or even officially named!), the Marketing team was already contemplating how to publicize it. What could we do that was exciting, fun, and community-oriented...while not being able to reveal anything about what we were promoting?

The answer came from our bucket list: an ARG! “When we were initially brainstorming, we threw around a ton of crazy ideas, but we kept coming back to an idea of having something mysterious and fun for the community to solve that would reveal DeviantArt Eclipse,” said @danlev. “We've done puzzles and scavenger hunts in the past and they've always been pretty popular. We kept playing around with ideas and our ideas became more and more elaborate until we realized that we should develop a whole storyline, characters, and a bunch of puzzles.”

“I love puzzles and stories and adventure and secrets, so an ARG was right up my alley,’ said @mattbmattb, our Puzzle Master. “I was OBSESSED with watching people solve the Sombra ARG for Overwatch, but those were all way above my head. I liked the idea of being able to share something fun like an ARG puzzle with people that wanted to participate. It wasn’t a mandatory event, so those who didn't like it could still enjoy DeviantArt however they wished without being too affected (sorry 'bout that llama).”


Now that we knew what we were doing, the next part was perhaps the most challenging. Every ARG needs a story, and you can’t have a story without heroes. The creation of Ari Banks and Bunny the Red Panda didn’t just happen overnight. “Ari and Bunny were the result of a collaborative process that involved most of the marketing team,” @bironicheroine revealed. “Each of us came up with several character duos and narrative frameworks for the ARG, and then we voted to settle on archetypes we liked, filling in the details from there. I'm proud that we named her after Artemisia Gentileschi, the baroque painter, and Bunny as a reference to the fact that almost all of us had a rabbit in our initial set of ideas! It was tough to choose just one duo, and we spent several meetings honing these ideas to make sure we had a dynamic we all liked.”

After Ari and Bunny were created, we got to work creating the story and puzzles, developing them together. @bironicheroine, @mattbmattb, and I were the driving forces behind the content with @danlev and @ekud serving as Creative Directors. Breaking the story was a pretty fluid process. We wanted the puzzle solving to actually be integrated into the story, not just something that happens outside of it, so that’s how we landed on escaped Djinn as the villains. The lore behind them is very interesting, so they’re easy to create characters around, have a lot of potential for cool designs, and are scary enough to easily imagine they’re a legitimate threat.

“One of the really fun parts of working on the Eclipse ARG was finding ways to gamify the DeviantArt platform, without relying too much on the engineering department,” @mattbmattb said. “I had a couple of goals with the puzzles, the first was to try to make them all unique, while still tying them in with the Djinn they represent. For instance, the Hinn is associated with time, so I created a puzzle that was an animated GIF that you had to wait out (or cheat by downloading); the Jaan was green, so it tied into the Hex code for DeviantArt Green; stuff like that. Additionally, I wanted them to be of varying difficulties so that all different levels of players could participate. I didn't want to get into the really intense waters that ARG tend to fall into (I can't turn binary into sound waves!).”


Story development is cool, but how did Ari and Bunny get their distinctive looks? And who drew that awesome comic??? Meet comic book artist and fantasy illustrator @iamjustino! “It was a deceptively easy and difficult process,” he revealed. “We wanted to base her outfit in reality, so it became a combination of trying to find an outfit that was both functional and looked appealing. The design process became trying to find different combinations of outfits and colors that were bright and poppy but would also stand out against the background. We also had to be aware of the time crunch that the whole project was under, so a lot of elements in earlier designs had to be cut in order to streamline the drawing process. Which ended up being super useful down the line and created a much cleaner character design for all the artists that worked on it, letting us focus more on making something cool instead of trying to match a bunch of tiny details.

“As for Bunny, it was really what can make us go ‘Aww’ the most. We had to make you want to save that poor little guy! We went through a bunch of different accessories and at one point we played with the idea of him missing a leg! It was ultimately dropped since it has hard to read and he was given his trademark crescent moon marking instead. I’m honestly really happy with the designs of both Ari and Bunny; it was definitely the work of the team coming together to really nail down her look from a loose idea into the character she is now.”

Now that Ari and Bunny had their looks, the story was locked down while the Djinn and the overall look of @iblis were created. “We wanted all aspects of the ARG to be both extremely visually pleasing and utterly immersive,” said @ekud. “When looking at the temple and the Djinn, we wanted viewers to feel like there was a rich world to discover; when viewing the comics we wanted people to feel like they were right there with Ari and Bunny on their adventure! Achieving this sensation through our visuals was the most important consideration in working with our artists.” We called on @lyno3ghe for the (very large!) Central Chamber piece, which was the source of the individual Djinn close-ups used as puzzle status markers, while @dominuself was entrusted to create the exterior of the temple.


With all the pieces set, we quietly launched the ARG. After we revealed we were behind Ari Banks and neared the finish line, the pressure increased for me. I loved building all the mythology, character bios (that I’ll hopefully share one day!), story journals, and this whole process, but I was most nervous about writing the endings. I really wanted to deliver something that was satisfying to read regardless of how invested the reader was in solving the puzzles. Hopefully I was able to do that!

In the end, @MattBMattB had the same hopes. “I wanted the community to have some fun,” he said. “This was a very different community activation than I had seen at DeviantArt, and I was excited to be a part of providing that. I thought it was really cool that DeviantArt was willing to give a sneak peek to those of inquisitive mind before sharing Eclipse with everyone. While (selfishly) I hope people go away from this loving Ari and Bunny, and wanting to create ALL THE FAN ART of them, the biggest thing I hope that users learn from the ARG is that DeviantArt loves its community.”

A special thanks goes out to the artists we commissioned for fan art and helped us (covertly) spread the joy of Ari and Bunny (check out the gallery for all their pieces):

@wandakun, @valentina-remenar, @monorirogue, @vashperado, @zeronis, @ysvyri, @fisher903, @mangamie. @ciorane, @deviant-garde, @dyemelikeasunset, @eirwen980, @razurichan, @humanmgn


Eclipse Change Log: December 12, 2018

This week, nearly the whole DeviantArt team — encompassing staff members from Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Kiev, and Vancouver, to name a few — has come together at our HQ in Hollywood to focus on Eclipse and plan what’s in store for 2019.

As a reminder, we’re continuing to work on the bigger community feedback concerns — including customization and improvements to Feedback — and we hope to share more soon.

Since the holidays are coming up, and many people on our team are traveling or taking time off, we won’t have a change log to share for a short while. But we want to let you all know that we are continuing to review and analyze your feedback, and we look forward to sharing more updates with you early next year!

Change Log

Literature descriptions are back! (Popular request!)After replying to a comment in Feedback, the notification is now automatically removed. (Popular request!)Comment link pages now have "parent" and "top" buttons, and are now centered for easy readability. (Popular request!)Scraps are back!You can now mention a deviant just by typing (rather than selecting them from the list).The Gift dropdown on profile now tells you when you've already given them a llama or they are full of cake. Removed minimum character count in Status Updates and Journals, allowing deviants to share a post that simply includes a deviation, gallery, or video.

Preview of the new comment permalink pages.

Keep Sharing Your Feedback!

Submit a bug or feature requestSubmit your overall feedback about DeviantArt Eclipse...


Submitted on
August 27, 2018
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