Lisa A. Fanning

 Born in Cincinnati, OH in 1967 to poet parents, Lisa was destined to become an artist who sees poetry in everyday life and captures it visually through her lens. While growing up in Richmond, Indiana, she was exposed to the world of photography through a relative and a good friend from Earlham College, but she was too busy cheerleading, acting in school plays, playing the cello and studying French to make it more than just a hobby in those days.

Her serious love of photography began when she was a college exchange student studying French at the Institute for International French Studies in Strasbourg, France and began traveling the world. Lisa was already smitten by French photographers Cartier-Bresson, Doissneau and Brassaï, but a desire to share the world with family and friends back home led to her honing her photographic eye to capture the true essence of people and scenes throughout the world. After completing her BA in French and MA in Intercultural Communication, she moved to DC to start her professional career.

Lisa has had a successful 20 + year career in Washington, DC working in professional/career development, workforce development, diversity, and international education for domestic and global non-profit educational organizations and associations/societies. She continues her professional work in DC, but added artist to her resume in 2006 after returning from a personal sabbatical in Germany and being selected for a prestigious juried photography exhibition in Oakland, CA. She won an award a few years later and has been creating art ever since.  

Lisa specializes in fine art and documentary/street photography. She has photographed the Presidents of the United States and Mali (official photographer in Washington in 2008) and has had her work purchased by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for their permanent art collection. Her work is also part of the permanent art collection of The Historical Society of Washington, DC. She has had the distinct honor of having her work selected for the Joyce Gordon Gallery's International Juried Photography Competition "Glimpses in Time" 4 years in a row. The competitions were in honor of Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, Manuel Bravo Alvarez, and Imogen Cunningham. Her image on homelessness "Resting Place" won a Juror Award in 2008. Additionally, her work was selected for the DC regional exhibition of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series in 2012 and 2013. Recent highlights of her photography career include having her work selected for a 2016 international juried photography exhibition at the Site:Brooklyn Gallery in New York City and being featured as a guest culture and arts blogger for Icelandic based Nordic Style Magazine. In 2017, Lisa won an American Art Award and was named one of 300 of the World's Best Contemporary Artists. Her honor and work were featured in the Huffington Post (see News and Updates). Additionally, she was a finalist in the photo manipulation category for the 2017 UK-based Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers. 

Lisa has exhibited her work in galleris throughout the United States and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She continues to hone her eye and study the work of the photographers with whom she most identifies: Gordon Parks, Malick Sidibe, Henri Cartier Bresson, Chester Higgins, Robert Frank, Robert Doisneau, and Brassai.

Lisa is a member of the Exposure Group African-American Photographer's Association and Black Artists of DC.  Her other interests include documentary filmmaking, abstract watercolor painting, genealogy and genetic genealogy. She has been tracing her family history since 1996. Mitochondrial DNA testing confirms maternal lineage from the GA people of Ghana, West Africa. Admixture DNA testing has revealed that she has ancestry from West Africa, Madagascar, Europe, the British Isles and Scandinavia. Lisa has traced her ancestry to enslaved Africans in Georgia and Tennessee as well as Free People of Color (African and Native Americans) from North Carolina and Virginia who settled in Lost Creek, Vigo County, Indiana.  


New Work

Memory's Telephoto Lens

 Photography is, for me, a spontaneous impulse coming from an ever attentive eye which captures the moment and its eternity.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson


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