Lolita Beckwith, known as LolitaLens across social media and to her fans, brings an enthusiasm and winning spirit to her work as a photographer. With experience shooting professional sports and a love of the adventures of travel photography, her career is just getting started.
Read on to find out more about how LolitaLens wields a camera.
Congratulations on winning the Your Art Gallery Summer 2018 Photo Contest. Can you tell us a bit about your winning image and how you rallied your fans on Facebook, and perhaps elsewhere, to move from 9th place to 1st place?
Thank you! The photo was shot at a dance party on Coney Island’s boardwalk circa 2011-2012. It was a thrill to win with my all-time favorite photo. It’s been the image on my business card for years! As for the contest, there really isn’t much of a story. Two days before it ended, I saw the photo was in 9th place. Using social media I asked people to vote for it…and they came through!
Your profile on Your Art Gallery features work from Paris, Cuba and New York. What is your relationship to travel and travel photography?
As much as l love living in (and photographing) New York, traveling allows me to step out of my everyday life and experience different lifestyles, cultures and histories. Paris was filled with quiet elegance and beauty at every turn. Cuba was more than classic cars. It was a fascinating study of an island slowly adjusting to modern life and technology. This past August I went to Rome and was completely blown away by all the ancient ruins still standing…living history! Bottom line, I love new adventures, documenting my experiences and photography. Traveling brings together all three perfectly.
Your photographs capture scenes that are rich in information, combining vastness and detail. As a digital photographer, what makes you choose to process particular travel photographs in black and white versus color?
It all comes down to style choices, impact and emotion. In general I like my photos to “pop” with color for impact. That’s my photographic style. But, sometimes I look at a photo, especially if it’s a simpler scene or with minimal color to begin with, and I sense it might be stronger in black and white. From there, I love experimenting with different black and white presets and filters to achieve that “wow” factor.
You also shoot professional sports. How did you get into that field of photography? What is unique about sports photography?
Shooting sports and concerts at Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden were the most exciting four years of my life. How it happened was simple: I had been posting my photos daily on Instagram and Twitter and out of the blue I was approached via Twitter to shoot for a Brooklyn-based website. They loved how I captured our borough. We met, and that weekend I was on the job. As a sports fan, my dream job actually came true!
A unique quality of sports photography is that you have to be alert. No matter what sport you’re shooting, if you let your mind wander even for a second you can miss a spectacular moment. Sports are also highly emotional, so you have to be on the watch for captivating facial expressions and interactions as well. The emotions you capture often tell the story more than the slam dunk or TKO.
Lastly, can you tell us about your name/brand, “LolitaLens”? How did you come up with that name and what makes it stick?
Actually, my Mom came up with the name back in 2010. At the time I was learning about branding yourself on social media. It helps to have the same name across all channels. So, when she said “LolitaLens” the proverbial light bulb went off…THAT was the name to go with. It’s short, easy to remember, states exactly what I do and rolls off the tongue well. So it became the name for my Instagram, Twitter, blog, website & here at Your Art Gallery. Once again, Mom nailed it!