10 RANDOM QUESTIONS
Surrealist Photographer, Prudent Location-
Scouter, TV Binge-Watcher
INTERVIEW BY LIBBY PETERSON
1 What does your office look like right now?
At the moment, my office is in a bit
of disarray as I have just returned
from six weeks abroad. I am still
in the process of putting things
away and getting on top of my
incredibly long list of things to do.
2 How do you create the surreal aspects of your
photography, particularly your
“The Anonymous Man” series?
Every element has been
photographed and then
combined as composites using
Photoshop. The surreal aspect
of the images, I think, come from
the use of the lenses that I use: I
am using wide lenses to capture
most elements, but I am then
combining the images so they
look as if they are taken with a
3 What inspired you to create that series?
The inspiration came from what
I like to call “inspired thought.” I
felt, dreamed and saw the images
before I made them. I created
them based on my emotions
and based on inspired thought.
The images have come from
depression and uncertainty and
were a way for me to cope and
express what it was I was feeling.
4 Who poses as The Anonymous Man? Is it
always the same person?
The first person to pose for it
was my husband, Anthony, but
because of some of the award
rules when it comes to using the
same subject, I have had to enlist
a range of men that I know to
pose as The Anonymous Man—
lots of friends, friends’ husbands
and even some businessmen
for whom I have photographed
5 What’s your location scouting process like?
My location scouting is usually
done online or by seeing an
image of a building that I have
been looking for. I tend to track
the building down and work
out where in the world it is. I
then organize to visit the city
or country to photograph the
building as I see it in my mind for
use within the composite.
6 What’s the last movie you saw that moved you?
Stronger, which is about Jeff
Bauman, one of the survivors of
the Boston Marathon bombing.
A couple of things about this
movie moved me: the real-life
depiction of struggle that is not
often showed in such a way,
especially when it comes from
human tragedy, and how the
camera was utilized to play a role
and interact with the actors. It
put us directly within the scenes
rather than just watching the
action from afar.
7 What’s your guilty pleasure?
Eating chocolate and taking a
day of binge-watching TV.
8 What’s your favorite song right now?
“Saltwater” by Chicane.
9 What advice can you give photographers looking to
set themselves apart?
When you’re looking to stand
out, everything starts with a good
idea, a good concept. If you
think you’ve hit upon something
unique, I suggest drawing it out
on paper or writing a story based
on that idea. Speak of the idea to
others and see how they react.
Doing all of this adds value
to it and gives you something to
hold on to during the process.
It answers the “why” question.
It also helps in getting the most
power out of your concept.
Some ideas are a springboard
to another idea. Do not feel bad
if you start something but do
not finish it—you have permission
to move on.
10 You’re working on finishing “The
Anonymous Man.” What
constitutes as finished for you?
The idea of finishing it is both
exhilarating and something I am
very nervous about. It would be
a big step for me. The number I
have in mind is 70 images within
the series, and right now I have
36. The goal is to introduce the
series to the world and to sell as
many prints and books as I can.
I don’t think I will ever fully finish
this project, though. It will be
with me forever.;
ABOVE: The Anonymous Man #9. “The work became a way for me to cope
with my emotions,” Saad says. “I embraced that process and decided this
would be my path—and it would take me where it takes me.”
Lisa Saad is an international award-winning
photographer based in Melbourne, Australia.
In addition to personal work, she shoots
advertising, commercial, food, corporate and