October 7, 2023

Your Photographer Mom: Episode 004 // Meet Lissa Chandler!

Your Photographer Mom: A Podcast for Photographers

Oh hey! Back in 2021, I sat down and started drafting a ton of photography podcasts that would turn into Your Photographer Mom.

With a decade of business behind me and a ton of photography students taught through mentorships and workshops, this was the time! I had so many awesome drafts of photography topics, tutorials, and everything in between. I got to recording in the spring of 2022, did a few photographer interviews, released three episodes and then… totally burnt out.

I’d made it through my third pregnancy + third newborn stage, pushed through the craziness of the pandemic, and scaled back on shooting pretty drastically – I basically pulled a fake retirement! Hahaha – but, when I thought I had pushed through it all and had the perfect opportunity to record and release a bunch of education, I fell totally flat. Before I knew it, I pulled the plug on my meticulously planned podcast, completely stopped posting on socials, and went into a bit of hibernation where I taught myself to design tee shirts and launched a whole new section of Opal and June.

In retrospect, this decision was incredible! At the time? I felt like I was losing my ever-loving mind.

So! Today! Before I officially re-launch the Your Photographer Mom podcast, I thought I’d do a little intro where you can learn more about me, learn about my approach to photography, and why I love educating so much, too.

My name’s Lissa Chandler and I grew up with a camera in my back pocket.

No seriously. I had cameras literally everywhere. I grew up before digital photography was a thing so I had cheap, see through plastic and disposable cameras all over the place – my purse, my locker, my car – but it was at a time where being a photographer didn’t seem like it could be much of a career plan. Family photographs were shot at Olan Mills and JC Penney’s, high school senior photographs were taken in old school studios with Coca Cola props, and wedding photography wasn’t even something that was on my radar. You don’t know what you don’t know and, for me growing up, I didn’t realize that someone could grow up and photograph people.

Lucky for me, I figured it out! My husband is the freaking best and, when we got married, he took my love of photographing people and encouraged me to make it a full business. I’d photographed my very first high school senior at the age of nineteen and, at the age of twenty-four, I moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas and immediately opened my photography business. That was twelve years ago this summer and, as time goes on, I just love photography more and more every year.

Like, you know those people who are obsessed with their husbands?

I’m obsessed with my husband – and our three kids, our two dogs, and our garden! – but I’m seriously in love with photography. Photography has just brought so much joy to my life. I love it for the reasons photographers love it – I love the art form, the light, the way light moves across water and sunset, and I love the way it freezes a moment in time that you can come back to year after year and year. Your life will change but those photos? They stay the same!

I love creating. I garden. I sew. I design ridiculously cute tee shirts. I use at least one container of Modge Podge a month and have a DIY list of projects a mile long. I collect homemade artwork and vintage scarves from flea markets and cook like a boss. I make candles and paint planters and my husband likes to make fun of my and say that I’m always covered in some form of paint or glitter. He’s not even wrong about it, either! I just love creating and the creative process so much and, as a mom, feel so passionate about heirloom image making.

I Know What You’re Thinking! Heirloom Image Making?

Yes! Heirloom image making! I freaking love creating photographs that your grandkids will frame. Photographs that burst with color and light and so much vibrant personality. I’m not fast at editing and I’m not the best at telling people how to achieve work-life balance (I veer into workaholic tendencies more often that I’d like to admit!) but I love creating photographs for all kinds of people at all kinds of life phases. I’m a photographer who has proudly chosen to never niche down and, while I will focus on one genre a little more heavily than others – for a decade it was weddings and right now it’s families! – I love the freedom that photographing a feeling brings.

Yes! A feeling! My photographs all have the same end goal. They’re hopeful and colorful and fun but, most of all, they’re going for my favorite feel: The huge, happy feeling of hope and excitement that you feel as a kid opening up a huge box of 120 crayons.

Sound Like A Feeling You Remember?

Fantastic! I am so happy you are here!

This podcast is for all kids of photographers – brand new, intermediate, and photography dinosaurs like myself. If you love all things photography, this podcast is for you! Centered on photography tutorials, creative growth, and creating a flexible business that you can sustain for decades, this fun photography podcast is perfect for any photographer who just freaking loves photographs.

Want to Learn More About Me?

I cut my photography teeth photographing weddings. I love weird light and photograph literally everything. Think weddings, editorial, families, high school seniors, and product photographs. Yesterday, I photographed a bunch of coffee mugs surrounded by Christmas ornaments on a hot pink velvet blanket. Two days before, I photographed a lifestyle maternity session inspired by Calvin Klein. Also that week? A bridal editorial and a family session in a patch of wildflowers. I love to shoot, love to meet new people, and love to help photographers learn everything they can so that they can create businesses reflective of them.

Speaking of photographers! I published my first – now retried! – ebook in 2014 and have mentored + taught countless photographers through photography workshops, private mentorships, and educational PDF learning that I sell through my website Opal and June. Never heard of Opal and June? It’s a little photoshoot rental shop I’ve been running since 2018 and it’s the freaking best. And last year? I taught myself to design merch for photographers! Opal and June is full of all the ridiculously funny photographer gifts and it’s a total joy. So! Believe me when I say! I love photography, love the photography community, love giving back, and cannot wait to start this podcast back up now that my kids are all in school and I’ve got a little more time to get behind a microphone.

I can’t say that this will be the most professional photography podcast but I can tell you that it will absolutely be the most fun.

This podcast will resume on November 7th and from, there, new podcasts will be released every first and third Tuesday. I have so much to share with you and can’t wait to get to learning! See you one month from today!!

about Lissa Chandler

{ Cute Family Photograph by my wonderful friend Steph Smith! }

Galleries + Links +  More

Weddings | Engagements | Seniors | Families | Personal | Photographers

Etsy Shops: Tee Shirts + Sweatshirts + Puzzles + Pillows | Mockup Photos

Based in Fayetteville, Arkansas Lissa Chandler is a traveling portrait and wedding photographer. Lissa is also the owner of Opal and June where she offers unique mockup photographs, bookish + history merch, and the dreamiest photoshoot dress rentals. Additionally, Lissa is the host of the podcast Your Photographer Mom.

Inquire About Your Wedding Date + Book A Session With Lissa Chandler Here