Lisa Holte’s photography specialty combines Celebrity and Fashion imagery. Both concentrate on “people” putting the use of traditional and advanced concepts. Her artistic vision focuses on images that have an impact, how clothing presents drama, glamour, and character. Through her aesthetic and technical skills she is able to capture the spontaneous and unfolding events from her subjects through the lens.
Lisa applies her extensive background in theater, film, and modeling to her Photography today.
Lisa has worked with some of the most notable magazine photographers from around the world. Her love of being in front of the camera in both movies and still-fashion photography prompted her to switch gears. Which put her behind the camera to pursue her photography career full-time.
Additionally, Lisa is a Contract Photographer joining forces with the Media. While she is represented by the leading and reputable press agencies and wire services photographing some of the most influential celebrities and public figures in the world.
With her unique creativity and artistic expression. Lisa’s credentials include being among the elite photographers to participate in the red carpet press coverage for the White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner, The White House Fashion Workshop hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, and many prestigious red carpet events like Michael Kors, Manolo Blahnik, Amy Schumer from Trainwreck film, The Fragrance Foundation Awards with Kendall Jenner, Russell James, Alec Baldwin, Adriana Lima, and more. Lisa participates in the annual coverage of New York Fashion Week. Lisa has been published in various media in newspapers, magazines, and professional websites. Her education credentials include a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Northridge and a Photography Master Certification from Montgomery College.
Tell us how you got into photography?
Well my lengthy background in front of both TV/FILM and still photography over the years has helped me evolved my move to being behind the camera to pursue my photography career full-time. I began studying Fashion and Portraiture Photography and Photojournalism at Montgomery College in Maryland and graduated May 2013.
At what point did realize that you wanted to celebrity photography for the rest of your life?
Well, originally I wanted my focus in pursuing studio fashion photography. Simply because of my love for fashion. So I started shooting for New York Fashion Week my first year and in one of the shows, we had a legendary celebrity actor make an appearance. I thought to myself, well I should submit my shot to a stock agency that might be interested in the image. It was turned down because the actor was no longer the “hot item” and that would not sell well. I was bummed. A month later or so, the agency offered me a contract and asked if I’d be interested in covering celebrities. At the same time, I was still a student at Montgomery College.
One of my Professors encouraged me to take Photojournalism. I was a bit hesitant to take the course because I was under the impression that Photojournalism is photography of sad/serious stuff that only covers “hard news”. My Professor convinced me that is not the case and that I can still do Photojournalism in Entertainment field such as fashion and celebrities of which is considered a subset of Photojournalism in the “featured news”. I fell in love with it after I took the course.
Since then, I have got assignments from left to right and shooting some of the most influential public figures in the world. My first big name celebrity assignment was Donald Trump and his family. The whole thing just literally fell on my lap. My career began to evolve into shooting celebrities. The rest is history. I will always be covering celebrities and I enjoy that very much. It has a nice combination of Fashion and Celebrity. What are they wearing? Who’s the designer ? What’s trending? etc. Once a Celebrity Photographer, always a Celebrity Photographer. My work of photographing celebrities continue on. I’m always excited to get media alert from my publicist not knowing who I am going to photograph next.
What is your best works that you’re proud of so far?
There are so many coverage(s) that I am proud of but I think I can say what stood out the most for me was my first assignment to the White House photographing First Lady Michelle Obama when she hosted the Fashion Education Workshop for young students attended by several top fashion industry professionals and world-class fashion designers like Diane Von Furstenburg, Jason Wu, Carolina Hererra, Vera Wang, and Anna Wintour, Editor of Vogue of whom gave opening speech there.
I got to meet many key people at the White House. I even met Leah Katz-Hernandez, the first Deaf Receptionist at the White House. She really made my experience at the White House absolutely amazing. It was definitely a magical day. The second one was the White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner. This is like the “Oscars” night in Wash, D.C. and it was hands down over the top star-studded affair with over hundreds of celebrities arriving to the red carpet. I was among the media shooting with camera’s firing flashbulbs. It was such a rush and exciting. I hope to go back to cover their next White House event next year.
If you could give a young photographer advice based on your experiences so far, what would you recommend that he/she should do?
I have seen many young photography students that try to teach themselves after buying a camera. But little do they realize that Photography is not just “pressing a button.” There is a lot involved in photography that requires artistic discipline and a good eye to hone that skill. I would encourage him or her to take classes and workshops. Get the formal training to best understand photography inside and out. Practice shooting everyday to any subject that they like. Know the fundamentals of photography and how the camera functions with lighting. Just because someone buys a camera doesn’t make anyone a photographer. Photography is very competitive and it takes commitment and tenacity to stick with it. I have seen Pros have given up because it is too competitive.
What is the most craziest moment you have ever experienced in your line of work?
Just recently over the summer, I was covering the Manolo Blahnik Couture Luncheon in NYC. Manolo Blahnik is known for one of the most influential shoe designer brands in the world. While I was shooting, I was standing on a stool because I am short so I wanted to get good grabs with the stool. Alec Baldwin and his wife Hilaria Baldwin arrived to the red carpet. I was shooting and when we were done I suddenly fainted falling backwards from the stool.
Hilaria Baldwin was the first responder to rush to my side. She literally bolted in the middle of the interview with the video crew to help me. She consoled me and asked if I was ok and then everyone rushed over to me and gave me water. The next day, the news leaked out with headline that says “Hilaria Baldwin helps a Photographer who fainted” She and I tweeted and she was just so caring. Since then, we became friends. That was crazy incident.
Since #deaftalent is still trending all over the internet right now, do you have any thoughts on what #deaftalent means to you?
#deaftalent is a great trend. Deaf talent is everywhere. Actors, Photographers, Writers, Athlete, Doctors, Entertainers and so on. The hashtag #deaftalent is a stepping stone where social media is a visual soundboard that recognizes many of our deaf talents out there doing great things that people never knew or heard about. Because we are such a small sub-cultural community we want to think outside the box and get out there and show who we are. We may not hear but we do posses some of the greatest talents in the world. It’s time to make some noise and that we do exist!
What are your future plans?
My greatest accomplishments was moving to NYC to continue to grow my photography career. To continue doing what I love and get published in more magazines and see where that will take me. The sky’s the limit. I have arrived!
Completely Silly Random Questions:
If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?
Gandalf the Grey from Lord of the Rings
If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?
I’m a proud 8 year breast cancer survivor. I had thought I was not going to live but I’m thankful that I am healthy and still here living life to the fullest. Had I only got six months to live 8 years ago, I’d definitely travel all over the world. I have a few places on my bucket list!
You have the choice to live with a gorilla who knows sign language or a dog who sings lullabies, which do you choose?
Well of course with a gorilla that knows sign language. It’s neat to be able to communicate with a beautiful majestic species
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Oh the great wizard from Lord of the Rings, Gandalf. My favorite movie. Gandalf is so powerful and wise! And by the way, I shot Ian McKellan for his film premiere of Mr. Holmes.
If you were a car, what kind would you be? Definitely a Maserati. My dream car!
The ten questions Lipton asks are:
- What is your favorite word? BOOM
- What is your least favorite word? Can’t think of a word right now
- What turns you on? Having mind blowing conversation and humor
- What turns you off? Poor manners and people who flake
- What sound or noise do you love? Crickets or Frogs singing. Haven’t heard that in a while. Love listening to that on quiet summer nights.
- What sound or noise do you hate? Mufflers!!! People love driving loud cars or motorcycle without mufflers. Those are annoying!
- What is your favorite curse word? Ass Clown
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Perfume Designer. I’m such a Perfumer Artist!
- What profession would you not like to do? Teaching. I have no patience
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Congratulations on making a difference in the world. here’s your Nana waiting for you. I miss her so dearly and will see her again someday.