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Meet Lisa Siciliano of Dog Daze Photo in Boulder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Siciliano.

Lisa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all happened by accident. I had a gift but didn’t know it until I was around 30. I knew I was a creative but had no idea in what way. I bought a camera from a neighbor, a Pentax K1000 Started taking photos at The Fox where I worked at the time. I’d stash my camera above the bar & shoot the last few songs of the show this was long before the days of photo passes & 1st 3 song rules. Many of those rolls are still in my fridge 22 years later. I realized I was good at it. A few months later I got in to shoot Metallica on a fluke. I sent a killer shot I got to the marketing manager at Red Rocks. He called me in for an interview & hired me on the spot as one of the house photographers at Red Rocks! The rest, as they say, is history & I still shoot 100% of my rock & roll work on a film. Although shooting live music is still my first love over the years I have made a full-time career in photography.

I have shot over 300 weddings, thousands of portraits, countless events & started a soul work project shot on b/w film called Lumin Project which aims to shed light onto marginalized people, forgotten culture & the unseen. Lumin Project is just getting started but it has already taken me into the rural Louisiana Cajun Country, the heart of the South Bronx. The underground Punk scene in Denver & countless homes for one of it’s ongoing series called Who Are You? I feel that this work will become a main focus over the next 20 years!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Ha! No! No roads are smooth. For one I was completely self-taught which had a ton of trial & error, especially on film. On top of that being a girl in the rock world is never easy. Although it has gotten more so over the last 20 years because more women are shooting, 20 years ago it was a rarity to see another female in the pit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve handed a business card with one of my rock images to someone, including fellow photographers, and had them say “did you take that?” I doubt many men would get that response.

My very first gig at Red Rocks I had my all-access laminate & was backstage excited to shoot. The artist’s manager saw me & didn’t believe I was the actual house photographer & took me to the office until my boss could confirm. Ridiculous. I’ve also not budged on shooting film for my live work which is a challenge because I’ve had to turn down jobs along the way & had to really search out people willing to hire me even though it would take longer to get the photos. On the flip side, I do shoot digital for corporate events & weddings & it took me a while to find my editing style so that my photos looked as clean & raw & as close to film as possible. Looking back at some of my over-processed early digital work is horrifying! But you learn as you go.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I photograph everything people. My work is very raw & real. I don’t do fluff. I have a gift in making a connection with my subject very quickly & have a knack at getting people to open up to me. I especially love to work with people who hate having their photos taken! I really love the challenge of proving to everyone that they are photogenic. And that comes from not finding the right pose or location but finding the soul & the authentic in everyone I shoot. I approach everything as art. Even the corporate events. I can do a lot quickly. My portrait shoots generally take less than a half an hour & my clients get a good 200+ edited photos from a 20-minute shoot, delivered in 24 hours! I really like to make it as quick, easy & real for a client as possible.

I’m super proud of being able to walk into any situation, lighting condition, location & be able to rock it. I can see something from nothing & make the bleakest location or lighting look cool. I couldn’t do that ten years ago, No way! I also am very cool with disaster situations these days. I’ve had shutters go out, memory cards fail, lenses break, you name it, in the middle of weddings & I don’t miss a step. The clients never even knew there was an issue. That is another gained with 20+ years of experience & having shoots near daily. Not long ago I’d have FREAKED over a technical disaster. I also do an annual art show with my rock & roll photography, this is my 14th year. It’s called Rocking in a Winter Wonderland. It started in a friend’s house in downtown Boulder &* quickly grew year after year. It is now at The Riverside in downtown Boulder. We have bands & literally 1000’s of pieces of my rock art. I’m super happy that it has become a sort of Boulder holiday tradition over the years. It’s happening next week on 12/12 & everyone is invited! Finally, I think it is HUGELY important to share my gift. I volunteer for Flashes of Hope. We shoot b/w portraits at no charge for children with cancer in hospitals. I also do 10 free senior portraits every year for underprivileged seniors in Boulder & I give framed rock art to any benefit needing it for an auction, I would never turn anyone down truly in need. I try really hard to make it so everyone can have great photos.

What were you like growing up?
I was always a weird artsy kid. I’d make up plays, make up radio shows & record them, make films. I got my first camera at ten & I loved it. I grew up in the 70’s in a Midwestern industrial town that didn’t really fit me & I’m sure people thought I was quite strange. I was just back there & I think they still think I’m strange but at least a more cool strange lol.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photos by me all shot on 35mm film Photo of me by my husband Jacques Armand

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