For as long as I can remember, I have always loved photographs; especially old and worn photographs – photographs from another time. Before my time.

The first camera I can remember using was a plastic Kodak point and shoot that was reserved for us kids to use. It took 110 film. It was easy enough for a kid to handle. I remember using it a lot the summer I turned eleven.Kat by Lisa Montesi

I took a lot of photographs of my stuffed animals, friends, plants and my baby niece. They were mostly grainy or fuzzy pictures. My aunt worked for Kodak in those days and as a result there was always one or two Polaroid cameras sitting around or being passed around during family get togethers – and always enough film. Playing around with the Polaroid became a time honoured tradition.

I don’t remember using a camera much aside from that. In high-school art class I made my very own pin-hole camera. We were sent outdoors to take photographs and then we learned how to develop our prints in the dark room.

Years passed.

Although I have always had an appreciation for art and photography I only dabbled. In my early twenties, after moving in with my boyfriend (now husband) and his new puppy, I picked up his high-end cameras (a Canon Rebel and Nikon 35ti). I started experimenting and really enjoyed my hobby. But this was at the time when digital photography was just building momentum. I felt torn between the two and really didn’t know enough about either to know what to do next. With the cost of developing, it quickly became an expensive hobby, so my fun seemed to rise and fall depending on cash flow.

I took a lot of photographs with film in those days, before digital became mainstream. I really love digital now. For a self-taught amateur digital photography has been incredibly useful as an immediate teacher.

I don’t really know how my camera works. I am learning as I go. For years I promised myself that I would take a proper photography course, but with having a family (married with two young kids and two dogs – now one dog), I just never got around to it. Instead of waiting for the perfect schedule, I decided that I would simply pick my camera up (a gift from my Dad – a Nikon D7000) and play. And I am so glad that I did, because I have had the opportunity to find and preserve the beauty around me.

It amazes me when I reflect on all these moments that I would have otherwise missed had I kept waiting. I like that I can be creative with photography and play with light, contrast and colour. I used to think that a photograph should only reflect reality, that the images must be clear and in focus, but I have found that part of the magic that I see through the lens is in preserving the fleeting moments of time – I have found the elusive pause button. And the personal joy that comes from waiting and anticipating those moments; capturing the ‘look-in-your-eye’ and the untouchable emotions that are but a blip in time. I get to hold them.

I love to take photographs of everything, from still life, nature, people, objects, animals and insects…

I am grateful to all the families, friends and pets who have been my practice subjects over the years and have allowed me to capture their beauty and preserve these moments.

Thanks for visiting,


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