Lisa Manifold

Lisa Manifold (Photographer)

Lisa is the first women I have ever met who worked for the Military. Originally from Upstate New York, she got stationed on the base of Twentynine Palms in 1991, where she operated as a navy corpsman. From 1995 to 1997 she was in Quantico, a place that people like me just know from the movies because FBI agents are trained over there. So, I feel a little bit uneasy because I do not know how to talk to military people. Also, we do not have a lot of women joining the army in Austria and it has only been 20 years that they are even allowed to do so. Lisa is so different from what I expected. She is a self-effacing and calm, almost a bit shy person. The more we talk though, the more she opens up and I completely fall in love with her story and her humor, not to mention her pictures.

Lisa started to take pictures only four and a half years ago. When she grew up, there was a friend of the family who had taken pictures of her and her six siblings. Lisa loves those childhood memories of her and her siblings’ quirky outfits, 60’s hairdos, pointed and colorful eye glasses, toothless smiles, and unique personalities. When she got grandchildren she wanted to do the same and got herself a digital camera. Exploring the world through the lens has changed her life completely and she even retired from the navy to pursue her new passion.

As Lisa loves the wild, she currently specializes in wildlife and the landscapes of the Southwest Deserts. She portrays special moments and when you look at her photos, like the night shots of the Milky Way, shooting stars or blizzards hitting the ground, you immediately feel small and humble, because you become aware of the natural forces and the beautiful creatures that surround us. Each picture tells a story and drags you into the scenery that seems enchanted and almost unreal. They inspire you to go out there and explore the magical vibe yourself.

According to her, the West as it used to be is not there anymore. She says that there is a new wild though. Her 5-year-goal is to photograph the wild mustangs throughout the United States and capture the spirit of natural life for her grandchildren. For this reason, she is also thinking of moving to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. It seems that if you are a desert girl once, you stay one.

For Lisa a woman who lives in the desert is someone who is what she is and who is comfortable with it. The desert allows you to do that. All you need to do is conquer your fears and you will outdo yourself. If you do not, you might be missing out on a lot of things. If you are scared to spend a night alone in the National Park, you will never see those unique night skies that might change your life forever. It is never too late to purchase a dream or live a passion. I think Lisa is a great example for that.

When you ask her, which of her photographs is her favorite, she quotes Imogen Cunningham, a pioneering female American photographer: “The one I’m going to take tomorrow”. I am looking forward to that one, for Lisa has just started her journey and there is much more to come. Make sure you watch her evolve.

Find out more about Lisa at

The other portraits will be featured within the next weeks. Stay tuned!

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