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The Lived Experience of Childhood

Lisa Winner | CA, United States


The Lived Experience of Childhood began as the antithesis of an inauthentic world I was forced to live as a child. The only photos I have from my youth are instances where my mother coerced me to stand and pose. Every photo is the same - my face plastered with a fake smile, either with someone or in a location deemed important. I hated the fictitious display of convivial emotion. I comprehended early on that the faux world my mother pushed for us to create was more important to her than the reality we lived.

As an adult, I realized that when we force children to smile and pose, we are teaching them that their true selves are not worth remembering. We are teaching them that fake perfection is superior to factual reality. I aim to change this practice with my work. I strive to create art out of simple childhood moments most often ignored by the lens. I want to show my children, and all of the children that pass in front of my camera, that a non-perfect life is wonderful, and all of the moments are worth remembering.

Lisa Winner is an award winning documentary photographer, specializing in family and storytelling. Firmly rooted in place, her work explores complex subjects: humanity, and how we exist in the everyday; nature, and its ever-evolving state of being; and finally, relationships, the true-to-life stories that can’t be replicated in a portrait studio. Her work captures the little nuances that tell a family’s story, to help the viewer understand her subject’s relationships with one another and their relationship to the natural world. Through visual storytelling, her projects aim to create empathy and greater understanding around the questions they explore.

Her work has been featured in multiple group exhibitions, including Dallas Center of Photography’s exhibition The Human Portrait, and Texas Photographic Society’s TPS 29: The International Competition. She resides in Alameda, CA with her husband, two human children, and two dog children, Chloe and Mr. Rufus.

Lisa Winner




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