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The Questionnaire : Lisa Kristine by Carole Schmitz


Lisa Kristine : Humanist above all.

Born in San Francisco, California as a child, Lisa Kristine spent countless hours in the darkroom with her uncle, learning the developing process, and it was there that her love for photography was revealed… her other passion being anthropology. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, she flew to Europe and then Asia where she spent five years doing interesting photographic work. Also collaborating with international humanitarian organizations, she was asked to present her work at the State of the World Forum in San Francisco in 1999 and again in New York in 2000, to inspire discussions on human rights, social change and global security.

Her work was auctioned by Christie’s New York to benefit the United Nations and Kofi Annan. She was also honored to be the sole exhibitor at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, along with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Reverend Tutu and Nobel Laureates.

It was there that she discovered Free the Slaves, an international organization created to campaign against the modern practice of slavery around the world. Appalled and saddened by what she discovered through this organization she immediately felt she had to help raise awareness of the issue and in 2010 she began working with Free the Slaves to help free people from slavery and rebuild their lives. An experience that allowed her to produce a hauntingly beautiful series of photographs collected in a book entitled Slavery.

Known as a humanitarian photographer, Lisa Kristine specializes in images of isolated indigenous peoples. Her color-saturated images are both inspiring and evocative, establishing a connection between the viewer and the subject. They highlight her connection to humanity, but also the diversity, beauty and difficulties of the world we live in.

Passionate and intuitive, she likes a person to feel comfortable with her, so that she remains who she is even in front of a camera. In order for her to photograph a person there must be a strong trust between them to create a moving image and not just a pretty picture.

For over 30 years she has been traveling the world and immortalizing communities, cultures and landscapes that are often unknown to Westerners. She has always been deeply moved by people of ancient tradition, living close to the land, and had this desire to meet them and photograph them.

Today Lisa continues to travel the world to promote human dignity by raising awareness on social causes.


Website :
Instagram : lisakristinephotography


Your first photographic click ?
Lisa Kristine : Of a childhood friend of mine when I was young and made my first photographs.

The man of images who inspires you?
Lisa Kristine : Sebastiao Salgado.

The image you would have liked to make?
Lisa Kristine : Marc Riboud’s, « Girl with a flower ».

The one that moved you the most?
Lisa Kristine : Malcolm Browne’s, the Burning Monk, Vietnam.

And the one that made you angry?
Lisa Kristine : Nick Ut’s, Terror of War.

A key image in your personal pantheon?
Lisa Kristine : Freedom, Ghana. The image of a boy bathing at a well behind a shelter where he was being rehabilitated after being rescued from child slavery.

The quality needed to be a good photographer?
Lisa Kristine : Respect, tenacity, and sensitivity.

The secret of the perfect image, if it exists?
Lisa Kristine : A perfect image transcends language and viscerally touches a person each time it is viewed.

The person you would dream of photographing?
Lisa Kristine : Sidharta.

An essential photo book?
Lisa Kristine : James Nachtwey’s, Inferno.

The camera of your beginnings?
Lisa Kristine : My first camera was an Olympus and was given to me by my aunt Mary and uncle Norman when I was 11.

The one you use today?
Lisa Kristine : KB Canham 4×5, Hasselblad, 35.

Your favorite drug?
Lisa Kristine : Adventure.

The best way to disconnect for you?
Lisa Kristine : To hike long and far, which ironically, is when I feel very connected.

Your greatest quality?
Lisa Kristine : Curiosity.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Lisa Kristine : Harriet Tubman…and fortunately, I believe Biden has begun to put this in motion

The job you would not have liked to do?
Lisa Kristine : Anything from 9 to 5.

Your greatest extravagance as a photographer?
Lisa Kristine : The work and energy I put into making an image wherever that may be in the world.

The values you wish to share through your images?
Lisa Kristine : Dignity, respect, and connection.

The city, country or culture you dream of discovering?
Lisa Kristine : Le monde entier.

The place you never get tired of?
Lisa Kristine : India.

Your biggest regret?
Lisa Kristine : I don’t do regrets

Instagram, Tik Tok or snapchat?
Lisa Kristine : Instagram.

Color or B&W?
Lisa Kristine : Both, so powerful in their own way.

Daylight or artificial light?
Lisa Kristine : Daylight light.

The most photogenic city according to you ?
Lisa Kristine : Lisa Kristine : Old ones.

If God existed would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Lisa Kristine : I’d much prefer to create an image of the Creator as opposed to myself with one.

The image that represents for you the current state of the world?
Lisa Kristine : One of deforestation.

What is missing in today’s world?
Lisa Kristine : Our collective respect and harmony with the earth, its resources, and its inhabitants.

And if everything was to be remade?
Lisa Kristine : Think of the possibilities.

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