This is a great interview in part 4 of our Member Small Business Highlights. Check out what Lisa has to say about her love for photography.
• Tell us the name of your business, what you do and why do you love it so much?
My Caymanian Partner and I recently launched our photography company, called Blank Canvas, but most people know me/my business as Lisa Reid Photography.
I love capturing candid, unposed moments that show people’s personalities and connection – the little, intimate moments and subtle interactions that tell a person or family’s story so much better than words ever could. I am so grateful that I get to do what I love every day and I believe that my passion and commitment shows in my work.
One thing you will see in my pictures in that I love the people I photograph. Some of them are my friends, but most I have never met before, yet through my photographs I feel like I become a little part of their lives.
• What types of shoots do you “specialise” in?
My real passion in photography lies with families. I love working with kids, so most of my clients are families with young kids, as well as smaller schools. Maternity and newborn photos fit naturally into my portfolio too. I also have a growing client base of couples, capturing engagements, elopements and very intimate weddings.
On request, I also do corporate portraiture for clients looking for more bespoke personal portraits.
To see examples of my work please see my portfolio on www.lisareidphotography.com
• When did you first fall in love with photography and when did you decide to pursue it as a career?
My passion for photography emerged early in childhood. My dad, an enthusiastic hobby photographer, inspired me to pick up the camera as early as the age of 6.
During high school, I took formal photography classes. Despite my teacher’s advice to pursue a career in photography, I decided against it out of a fear of losing my passion for the hobby.
Instead, I pursued a career in Marketing, working for some of the world’s biggest brands, such as adidas and Virgin. After 15 years as a Marketing Executive, Benji’s (my husband) job brought us to Miami in 2016. I was 8 months pregnant when we moved and therefore had to put my career on hold. I had known for a while that I wanted a radical career change doing something that I was truly passionate about and that gave me more flexibility with my kids. Our move and my maternity leave gave me the opportunity to explore new avenues.
At first, I followed my love for fitness and qualified as a Crossfit Level 1 and Kids Coach and started coaching kids shortly after, but I still felt that this wasn’t “it”. I decided to start picking up my camera again, doing some portraits for friends and got an overwhelmingly positive response. I set up a photography business and it grew really quickly and I finally made my life-long passion for photography my full-time career.
• When did you move to Cayman and how many other countries have you lived in before?
I grew up in Germany and moved to Cape Town, South Africa after I finished school to take a gap year. 15 years later I was still there with no intention of leaving. However, Benji was offered a great job opportunity in Miami, Florida, and we moved to the USA in 2016. We didn’t really enjoy living in Miami but were unsure where to go from there. Benji then got offered to join the Cayman office, so we moved to Cayman in 2018 and we couldn’t be happier living here and binging up our 2 boys in such a wonderful environment.
• What’s the greatest thing about owning a photography business in Cayman?
Firstly, as a photographer, Cayman is an incredible backdrop for photoshoots in terms of scenery. There are not many places in the world with these kind of beaches and sunsets. It is also pretty busy all year, so there is no real down season (except when there is a Coronavirus going around the world). My favourite thing is, that I get to watch the sunset (or sunrise) every time I shoot. In my opinion an office view doesn’t get any better than that! Also, I get to meet so many wonderful people – locals and visitors – from all over the world – all with their own unique story to be captured and told.
• What is the funniest/most memorable thing that has happened to you during a shoot?
Working with kids, there are so many funny moments and I often find myself bursting out laughing at the hilarious things they say. Recently, I was photographing an expecting family with their a little boy (3 years old). I asked him whether he would like the new baby to be a baby brother or a baby sister and he replied “Baby Batman” 🙂
• How can local residents support your business during this time?
We really are going through some crazy times… I went from being fully, fully booked during March and April to zero bookings in just a few days. A lot of my business comes from visitors and I don’t think we will be seeing any of those anytime soon. So this is a great time to grow my local business.
If anyone is interested in a family, newborn or couples photoshoot, corporate portraits or bespoke projects, please reach out to me and I would be happy to get in touch as soon as the curfew has been relaxed and I am allowed to work again. Photos (except newborns) are actually totally safe in terms of social distancing as they take place outside and I don’t need to come very close to anyone.
I also offer gift certificates, they are especially popular for maternity or newborn sessions, but can be used for any occasion at any value.
• You are the mother of 2 very active boys, a busy business but you still prioritise your fitness? Why is being fit so important to you and how do you manage to get it all in?
It is not “despite” being a mom and running a business but rather “because of” that I prioritise exercise. The simplest way to describe it, is that it keeps me sane! It is my hour of me-time, away from everything. It also keeps me fit and strong to keep up with my boys and physical job, provides me with the energy that I need for the rest of the day and allows me to eat more food 🙂
I count myself lucky to have grown up in a very active family, which laid the foundation for my healthy lifestyle – To me exercise has always been a treat rather than a chore and it is so deeply routed in my daily routine, that I don’t think about doing it. It has become a firm habit, just like brushing my teeth… In fact, if we are in circumstances that make it difficult to exercise like traveling with the kids, Benji helps me to prioritise it and says… “please go and work out, you are a much nicer person when you do” 🙂
• In 50 years what do you hope you and your business are remembered for?
There is a popular photography quote by Alfred Eisenstaedt, which states: “It’s more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
Photography is such a personal business so it is probably much less about what my business will be remembered for and much more about the experience people had during a photoshoot with me. But then it is not really about me either… while I want people to have a fun time with me, my main goal is to create something special for them. I want to preserve memories for them and future generations – capturing all those little details and genuine emotions – that will naturally fade over time. I want them to look back at their pictures and remember how they felt, how happy and connected they were as a couple or as a family on this beautiful beach in Grand Cayman.
On a different note I do believe that as a photographer we have been given a gift to tell a story and preserve historic moments in time. I love so-called Lifestyle Documentary Photography, which is completely unposed, just documenting life exactly as it is happening. I am currently working on a personal project, that once completed, will hopefully add to the cultural heritage of the Cayman Islands.
You can contact Lisa for bookings and see some her work here: