Lisa Leone is a photographer who grew up in Bronx, she started her photography career by shooting people such as Lauren Hill, Eazy-E, Nas, Debi Mazar and snoop dogg. she was a contributing photographer to British Vogue and VIBE magazines for a couple of years, getting her name out there. She then shaped her SLR for a video camera, where she started as a cinematographer shooting videos for Heavy D, TLC and The Brand New Heavies. She would later become very well knowing in the industry and create features and movies for well known directors.
“Just For Kicks” is a full length documentary Lisa shot and co-directed. It premiered at Tribeca film festival, and was shown on SpikeTV, Canal+, among other stations around the world.
She directed and shot a series of short films for Tommy Hilfiger and Glamour Magazine that premiered in NYC. Inspired by Nicholas Kristof’s book “Half the Sky”, Lisa found herself in Ethiopia where she shot and co-directed the film “Woinshet” with Marisa Tomei.
Im interested in her Photography work she produced especially her black and white images on Nas ‘Ilmatic session’ which depicts, Premier, Q-Tip, Nas, Large Professor recording in the studio, captured inn a candid style, only one of the group is connecting with the camera and the others glaring off into the distance past the camera creates a sense of wonder and causes you to think about these rappers minds and their intellect through words and music… they seem to be interested in something else in the room and stare in thought whilst posing for a formal portrait at the time. I really like the timing of these shots and thing they have been composed very nicely with consideration of lighting and using the shapes in the back ground to frame them. The Aesthetic seems like 35mm black and white negative film, because of the ratio of the image and the apparent grain visible across the image.
This stand alone portrait of “YoYo” (Yolanda Whitaker) taken outside in natural lighting is quite striking to me, the first thing that stands out is the texture of the rough sandstone wall which has imperfections creating lines that lead the eye onto the arm of the dark skin and into the texture of her t-shirt and the design of the subjects bandanna and finally into the eyes. She is looking into the camera with a very small smirk, appearing to be very comfortable with her hands behind her head she has an open posture and a happy, easy to approach face. The softness of the fading background which runs along the wall she is leaning one adds to the cleanness of this images, but at the same time the grain of the film adds to these textures we can almost touch. She has a proud and strong stare into the camera suggesting she is aware of the power of this moment in front of her, to capture a moment in peace and where she feels comfortable and things are going the right way for this rapper who grew up in Compton.