A Sense of Place

Someone once asked me what I was hoping to achieve with my photographs. Was I looking for fame? Fortune? Recognition? I told them I was looking for none of those things and tried to explain.

When I first set eyes on our home here on the mountain, it wasn't the house I fell in love with, it was the land--the view of snow capped peaks, the aspens, the wildflowers and rock outcroppings, the abundant wildlife. . . The land is what fills my spiritual cup. This sense of “place,” of union and communion with the wild things around me, is what has inspired me since I was a small child. It is the nature of the place, the wildness of the earth, that brings me home.

I began to photograph the landscape as a way to capture memories of my experiences in nature. I wanted to hold on to that deep sense of wonder and awe that I felt when I walked through the forest or sat beside a rushing stream or viewed a valley from the top of a mountain. For me, the quintessential nature photograph is one that evokes that same sense of wonder and awe and inspiration; one that wakens all the senses to the subject at hand. Of course, I have yet to take that photograph. I don't know that I ever will. It doesn't matter. It is enough for me just to explore these beautiful and wild places in the attempt and hopefully share some of that magic with others. Perhaps they, too, will come to feel one with the land and recognize the importance of protecting and preserving it.

Lisa Lakel


I've been using a camera to capture the wonders of nature for 50+ years, ever since I picked up my first Instamatic at the age of 7 and began photographing the world around me.

Some of my photographic credits include: The cover of the Denver Zoo calendar; “Best of Show” and "January" in the "Seasons of our Mountains" Calendar; exhibitions at the Ec-Lec-Tic Art gallery and the Ice House in Denver; and publication in The Nature Conservancy newsletter and The Denver Post.

I grew up in New Hampshire and first moved to Colorado in 1978 to attend the University of Denver, where I studied psychology and anthropology. I have worked in the editorial department of a New Hampshire daily newspaper; was a freelance writer; worked as an editor and graphic designer for a Denver publishing company; and have done commercial photography.

I have also served in many volunteer positions over the years including: control board operator and DJ for a public radio station; lobbyist for environmental issues; PTA and classroom volunteer; coordinator for the Jeffco school district's Mill Levy and Bond campaign; editor and web master of the Conifer High School newsletter; Conifer High Leadership Council member; and voter registration and data entry worker for the Obama campaign.

I have lived with my husband and daughter on the top of a 10,000 foot mountain in Conifer, Colorado, since 1990.

It is my hope that these photographs will help to increase public awareness of the importance of protecting valuable wilderness lands for wildlife and people alike.

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