← Back to Journal


Sonoma Spotlight: Lisa Kristine, Humanitarian Photographer, Lisa Kristine Gallery
— Napa, Sonoma, & Marin



Intro

For more than 30 years, Lisa Kristine has been a humanitarian photographer. She has spoken at TED events, museums, as well at the Vatican and House of Lords. The author of five books, she has also been the subject of four documentaries. Her fine arts prints are highly sought after and collected.



Share Article



  • Photography
    Jessica Pearl

For more than 30 years, Lisa Kristine has been a humanitarian photographer. She has spoken at TED events, museums, as well at the Vatican and House of Lords. The author of five books, she has also been the subject of four documentaries. Her fine arts prints are highly sought after and collected.

In a sentence or two, how would you describe what you do for a living?
I have been documenting indigenous cultures vulnerable to change in more than 100 countries on six continents with a notion of inspiring unity. Part of my work also focuses on social issues such as modern day slavery, disenfranchised peoples and extreme poverty.
You love what you do because...
I am always learning and experiencing new things from the people I am honored to be able to spend time with and photograph. I have deep gratitude for what I do for a living and hope that my images inspire change and ignite action in the world.
What are the challenges you face in your profession?
Working on the front lines of slavery, I am in dangerous situations. The conditions in remote places are often very challenging, and I sometimes get ill. In India, in the brick kilns, the temperature was 130 degrees. Men, women and children, entire families, were cloaked in a heavy blanket of dust, while mechanically stacking heavy bricks on their head, up to 18 at a time, and carrying them from the scorching kilns to trucks hundreds of yards away. The heat and dust were so intense that my camera became too hot to touch and ceased working. Every 20 minutes, I’d have to run back to our cruiser to clean out my gear and run it under an air conditioner to revive it. As I sat there, I thought, my camera is getting far better treatment than these people.
How did you end up in Napa, Sonoma, Marin?
I have always adored Northern California and have called this area my home when I am in the States. The climate is perfect, there are so many things to do outdoors, and the wonderful people here are well travelled, progressive and cultured.
What are your favorite things about living in the Bay Area?
Being so close to San Francisco and the San Francisco International Airport, awakening to birdsong and trees each morning. In Marin I live 100 yards from the Miwok Trail, part of the National Parkland, so I can step outside my door and go hiking and running in nature every day!
You are personally best known for...
My humanitarian work on slavery and working extensively to bring awareness of the plight of more than 46 million people enslaved worldwide.
Your recommendation for the must-do, not-to-be-missed experience in Napa, Sonoma, Marin?
Dining at “the girl & the fig” restaurant; I love the cheese plate with a glass of chilled, dry white wine. The Sonoma International Film Festival and the Napa Valley Film Festival. Wineries. The Lisa Kristine Gallery :)
They say that whatever you were most passionate about before you started school is a harbinger for adult life. What did you love to do the most as a kid?
My favorite thing to do as a young child was to sit on the floor in my mother’s living room and pour over books on anthropology and issues of National Geographic magazine. The images of people covered in feathers and mud; they looked like earth itself. I was so moved by these images. I loved imagining that there was a thousand ways to be alive, and I wanted to go and learn from these people.
When I was eleven years old, my Aunt Mary and Uncle Norman gave me an Olympus camera. I loved taking pictures of friends and family and spending hours in my home-built darkroom. I was never interested in making smiley pictures. I was much more interested in capturing something deeper, pensive and infinite. I didn’t know then that the gift of a camera would seed a passion and a career that would take me to more than 100 countries and to six continents. Going out into the world and seeing all of those who live in it reminds me that there is always so much possibility!
How would you spend a perfect day off in Napa, Sonoma, Marin?
Going over to a friends’ house for lunch, popping into a few shops, hanging out at the Sonoma Plaza, stopping by the Sonoma Farmers Market and seeing people having picnics and listening to music, and then having dinner at El Dorado Kitchen.
What season or time of year do you look forward to in Napa, Sonoma, Marin and why?
Indian summer with the changing colors.
Any unusual or memorable job experiences along the way that you could share? Worst? Best?
I love what I do. Wouldn’t change places with anyone!
What's on your nightstand/ bedside table?
Poetry books by Rumi and Hafez — the first thing I do every morning is read a poem. Also, In the Body of the World by Eve Ensler, and Shantaram, a novel by Gregory David Roberts. And Chapstick; I’m never without Chapstick.


Related Links
Social Networks

This website designed in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Narrative Media.
Copyright ©2017 Essential Guides. Images, video, graphics, and text may not be used without permission.