By Deb Silverthorn
As a child, Lisa Siegel lived near the home of the founder of Kodak, and in those early years, a love of capturing flowers on camera blossomed.
“Flowers provide the curves, contrast and color that I am driven to capture, and I am fascinated by the patterns, lines and textures,’’ said Siegel, who grew up in Rochester, New York, and in San Antonio. “I like to explore my subjects and see how little in focus I can get away with, dancing on the edge of including just enough detail.”
“Photographs tell a “personal narrative of what we value in life,” said Siegel. “I grew up near the George Eastman House, the historic home of the founder of Kodak and the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography. Visiting there shaped my appreciation for capturing a moment in time, a connection or a story told through the light of a lens.”
Siegel’s father, Laurence Gravin, of blessed memory, was an amateur landscape photographer who first handed his 10-year-old daughter a camera. Her mother, Ginger Lerner, a former opera singer and performer, inspired her creativity.
“My dad definitely planted the seeds for my love of photography and my desire to always keep learning new techniques,” said Siegel. “I think about my dad’s darkroom and how much I loved the experience of watching images come to life.”
Outside of her floral photography, Siegel gives her time, talent and fundraising support to The Innocence Project of Texas, for which she is honored to tell stories through her lens. In 2018 she photographed the exoneration of John Nolley, who spent 21 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The two became close friends.
Supported by friends, Siegel began creating and selling fine art prints, notecards and acrylic and plastic serving trays with her images. Her wares are sold online and at The Fitting Room in Highland Park.
“Lisa has the most giving heart, which shows in her photographs,” said Margie Weinstein, who urged Siegel to share her work and who has purchased trays for herself and as gifts. “She’s so good, so talented, and she knows how to capture just ‘the’ right visual.”
Laura Gordon is a friend who saw Siegel become more and more connected to her passion. Gordon, a career marketing professional, also encouraged Siegel to go pro and inspired her Instagram page name, Petal.Poet. “When Lisa is shooting, she sees the miracle of nature, and all of those moments are like poetry,” she said. “Like the flowers she photographs, she unfurls her soul.”
Siegel graduated from Southern Methodist University, with degrees in journalism and a minor in photography, and began her career at the now defunct Dallas Times Herald. After working in public relations for TracyLocke, GSD&M, Edelman Public Relations and Zale Corporation, she launched her own firm, where she worked until her first child was born.
Siegel and her husband, Charles, are the parents of Rachel, Evan and Rosie, who each carry their parents’ creative genes through the written word, in musical flair and on the stage. The family belongs to Congregation Shearith Israel. Siegel has been a volunteer and served on the boards of Akiba and Yavneh academies (now Akiba Yavneh Academy), where her children attended school.
“Shooting flowers is my magic. I can sit with a flower for an hour or more and then a ‘moment’ happens that takes my breath away,” said Siegel, who looks forward to traveling the world once borders open safely again, able to capture gardens around the world. “I shoot how I see the world, through my heart.”
For more details or to order Siegel’s work, visit lisasiegelphotography.com, lisasiegelphoto on Facebook or Petal.Poet on Instagram.