as a travel and decorative-arts photographer has garnered a rich-spectrum of experiences, imagery, insights, and memories. Today, she crafts her creative capacities in service to inspiring others to remain socially and creatively engaged in our world of cultural complexity.
LISL DENNIS IS HOSTING STORYSHARDS - Archaeology for Your Life. The inspirational, multimedia program highlights her personal stories and vibrant imagery from far-flung adventures, cultural travels, personal pilgrimages, and exotic ceremonies from cultures around the world.
RECENTLY LISL PRESENTED STORYSHARDS
- Gathering for Women at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM. The retreat
convened a diversity of women dedicated to clarifying how their personal
narratives reveal and strengthen their service
missions in the world.
STORYSHARDS: Who Cares for You? was presented at the Montreal Palliative Care Congress. In collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, the program creatively unfolded compassionate self-care strategies for an international audience of clinicians coping with burnout and compassion fatigue.
DRAWING ON HER VIBRANT VISUALS and
multicultural experiences from the world-over, Lisl is developing an interactive
E-Book based upon the STORYSHARDS narrative arc, which articulates - in
uniquely creative and inspiring ways - many of today's queries and concerns.
Lisl's video vignettes can be viewed on her
KNOWN FOR HER GRAPHIC, color-intensive style in the fields of travel and the decorative arts, Lisl was the first female staff photographer on the Boston Globe. Subsequently, Lisl became a writer, presenter, TV host, educator, and international tour leader - all with an emphasis on Creativity in Culture. As travel editor for Outdoor Photographer magazine, she wrote the Traveler's Eye column exploring the cross-cultural and social aspects of the creative experience at home and abroad.
ON ASSIGNMENTS WORLDWIDE for travel industry commercial clients, and magazine and book publishers, Lisl pushed the envelope on socially responsible destination photography. She developed a progressive curriculum for teaching mindfulness and creativity on location in deep cultures.
AS A FREELANCER BASED in New York City, Lisl developed a signature style during the 1980's and 90's. Her international career as a destination photographer engendered optically intimate detail imagery - verging on the abstract - in which color-intensive discreet fragments of a subject were more impactful and evocative of the whole than the descriptive over-all view.
CHALLENGING THE CONSERVITISM of the
travel industry, Lisl was considered by her peers to have expanded the
definition of destination photography.
Of her photo-style, Lisl notes:
"It's the super-saturated detail shot that always catches my eye,
especially if it asks the viewer: What is it?"
TELEVISION APPEARANCES INCLUDED: hosting
ESPN's Canon Photo Safaris in Brazil, Canada and Central America, as well
as hosting Satellite Media Tours for Canon USA. She has been a guest on
CNN's Travel Guide and on the Christopher Lowell Show. Lisl conducted
Creative Visualization Seminars for the Young Presidents Organization
(YPO) in Santa Fe and Morocco. In a recent Future Primitive podcast interview
Lisl expresses her current perspectives on creativity, imagination, exoticism,
and a re-purposing of her own visual capacities.
Future Primitive Interview
SPONSORED BY CANON AND KODAK - as well as other photography industry manufactures, including LowePro - Lisl presented VISUAL JOURNEYS - Creativity & Adventure in Travel Photography, a three-year nation-wide seminar series. With her husband Landt Dennis, a travel writer, Lisl founded and taught for twenty years the Travel Photography Workshop in Santa Fe.
AN ENGAGED PUBLIC PRESENTER, Lisl has lectured or conducted workshops for: New York School of Visual Arts; the Annual Photo Expo; the American Society of Travel Writers; various regional ASMP chapters; the Vail Valley Arts Council; the North American Nature Photographers Association; the New England Camera Club Council; the Coupeville Arts Center, Whidby, WA; and the Santa Fe Workshop; Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; and the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM.
TEACHING ENGAGEMENTS IN 2013 include RANCHO LA PUERTA, Tecate, Mexico and HOLLYHOCK, Cortes Island, BC. See Program 2013 for retreat descriptions.
IN COLLABORATION WITH HER HUSBAND Landt
Dennis, Lisl leads tours worldwide with a focus on India and Morocco.
These journeys engender the conditions for participants' creativity in
exotic cultures. For those interested in
the Dennis' crafting a private tour, visit:
MAGAZINE CREDITS INCLUDE: Travel & Leisure; House Beautiful; Islands; Outdoor Photographer; Popular Photography; Ebony; Architectural Digest; Travel & Leisure, Country Living, and Town & Country.
THIRTEEN BOOK TITLES to Lisl's credit
on the subjects of lifestyle, the decorative arts, and the creative process
in photography include:
Living in Morocco - Thames & Hudson, London
Soap for Body & Soul - Stewart, Tabori & Chang, NYC
Tiles: Living with Ceramic Tile - Clarkson N. Potter, NYC
The Essential Image - Amphoto, NYC
Shooting Portraits on Location - AMPHOTO, NYC
Behind Adobe Walls: Santa Fe & Taos - Chronicle Books, SF
The Traveler's Eye - Clarkson N. Potter, NYC
Martha's Vineyard Houses & Gardens - Little Brown, Boston
LISL IS A FOUNDING board member on
the Center for Emergent Diplomacy.
The Center, chaired by Merle Lefkoff, PhD, is a forum for the discussion of new diplomacy and public policy, and international peace building through Applied Complexity Science, and the integration of creative process in social domains.
The Center's current activities are on the Middle East peace process, and on
public policy initiatives inspired by principles of emergent
Gross National Happiness (GNH).
A LONGTIME SANGHA MEMBER of the Upaya
Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM, Lisl has participated in a wide-range of retreats.
Informed by the Engaged Buddhism emphasis in American Zen, she affirms
"My visual capacities - practice of image-making and personal storytelling - all must subserve mindfulness, spiritual atunement, Engaged Creativity, and love of beauty in support of others, and their Story Forward."
LISL'S LONGSTANDING INTEREST in matters of soul, creative expression, and the natural world were fostered by her architect father, interior designer mother, and other creatives in her family—all living in a country context.
GROWING UP IN RURAL Northern New Jersey in the wake of two adventure seeking older brothers, Lisl engaged in community field sports, and worked and played on the surrounding farms and stables. Attending Far Hills Country Day School, with its emphasis on the arts, creative writing, music, and team sports, she was especially interested in theatre set and costume design. Lisl graduated from The Master's School in Dobbs Ferry, NY with it's emphasis on the Humanities. At Dobbs, she founded the literary magazine Panache.
LISL WENT ON TO ATTEND the Art Students
League in NYC. Living in Europe, she attended the Accademia di Belle Arti
in Florence, Italy, where she studied life drawing and sculpture. In lieu
of college, Lisl's global journeys began at the age of sixteen, when she
first became interested in travel photography.
|When asked about degrees, she quips:
"I am undereducated and overexposed."
EARLY JOBS INCLUDED appenticing at the Bendheim Stained Glass Factory in New York City. She was a young assistant to a Boston-based interior designer, and worked for the Christian Science Church. Joining the Boston Globe photo-staff, 1968-1970, Lisl (byline: Elizabeth Macy Jones) covered the full-spectrum of metropolitan social and human interest assignments, including in the midst of Women's Movement demonstrations and Students for Democratic Society (SDS) uprisings on college campuses. Lisl considers that her early experiences as a photojournalist were:
"Foundational to my career was developing skills around previsualizing situations; quickly sensing the appropriate response in all conditions; and strategizing gracefully to get the shot - meeting daily publishing deadlines on the double."
AN OUTDOOR ENTHUSUAST, Lisl has pilgrimage-trekked
in the Himalaya to:
Holy Mt. Kailas; to Everest's Kanchung base camp in Tibet; to Nepal's remote Rolwaling region; and solo trekked in Bhutan. She has her eye on a trek in Nepal in the fall of 2013, joining the Upaya Zen Center's Nomads Clinic. In summer, Lisl hikes and bikes in Northern New Mexico. In winter, she is an avid storm chaser. Each season she seeks the perfect powder terrain.
"I am inspired by creativity, diversity, and the Science of Surprise (Systems Thinking). I am devoted to a pluralistic multicultural vision of beauty. I love helping others to clarify their vision and mission in our complex world through STORYSHARDS - an experience of Engaged Creativity and personal storytelling that points the path to resilient service."
presense as a guide is powerful. She archieves this through her
evocative words and pictures as a backdrop and compelling pathway.
Most importantly, it's her ability to suggest, then be with each of us, and
the group as a whole, in a vibrant consciousness of the moment."
— CHASE AULT, Straight to the Chase
See PROGRAM 2013
page for upcoming retreats and presentations.