Hold on to your uteruses mommas, you’re going to want to have another baby just to have Lisa shoot your maternity photos! Lisa Haynes is a proud mom of one daughter, and is passionate about her artistry and capturing life’s most precious moments for families and it is immediately evident when you see her beautiful work. You do NOT want to skim this interview! Lisa overcame her huge fear of water and studied under a mentor in Prague to master the art of underwater photography… what?! Yep, keep reading for the full story!

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?

I’m originally from Dallas.  After 22 years, my husband recently retired from the military and we moved to Austin from Northern Virginia about 9 months ago.

 

Congratulations on his retirement, and tell him thank you for his service from South Austin Moms! Tell us about your daughter… 

1 daughter named Taighlor; she’s 21 and attends Sam Houston State University

 

What is your favorite thing about living here?

I think Austin has something for everyone.  It’s progressive, an easy city to navigate, always has something interesting and fun happening, has great food and friendly people.  It’s not too far from our family that lives in North Texas, and they can come visit a lot easier, than when we lived in Northern VA. I’m also loving the fact that I can have tacos, Tex-Mex, great BBQ and Cornucopia Popcorn whenever I want now.  We had the popcorn shipped to Virginia a few times, but it’s not the same as going into the store and hand-picking your own flavors.

But overall, I enjoy the great Austin experience…that’s my favorite thing about living here so far.

 

What do you love to do with your family around town?

We’re still new in town, and we are still exploring our new surroundings.  We love going out to try new restaurants however. We try to visit one new non-chain restaurant each week in a different part of town.  And during football season, my family loves to go out and support the Longhorns. My husband enjoys going out to ride his motorcycles and me and my daughter like to visit the Domain when she’s visiting from college.

 

Tell us about Charmed Life Photography and how it came to be, what you love about it, what makes it unique, what your goal is, etc… Basically, I want to know everything! 

Well I started off being an International Travel Writer; but that progressed into becoming a photographer.  At some point, my editors started asking for images from the exotic destinations I was traveling to; but I wasn’t a photographer and didn’t know much about taking pictures.  One day I heard about a scholarship being offered by the Air Force Aid Society….it was for military spouses to take courses to help them get certifications in a portable career.  I applied for the scholarship and ended up receiving it for photography classes at a local college in Maryland. After I completed my certifications, I decided to start a photography business; Charmed Life Photography in my spare time, when I wasn’t travelling abroad and writing about it.

I started taking clients and improving my craft.  I was photographing weddings, children, families, and some food photography for commercial clients.  But I found that my passion was really in motherhood sessions.

I was doing maternity, birth and newborn sessions, when one of my clients asked for a very unique session.  She wanted an underwater maternity session; but there was one problem—I really didn’t know how to swim and had a huge water phobia.   A few months passed and she ended up being a high-risk pregnancy and couldn’t do the underwater session—but it was still on my mind. So I researched it, built up my courage and signed up for swim lessons to overcome my phobia of swimming; then flew to Prague for a one-on-one mentorship with an underwater portrait photography expert. I know this sounds like it took a short time, but in reality from start to finish this was a two year process of determination and dedication to a complete lifestyle change.

So along with with my motherhood sessions, I also offer underwater portraits for all clients, but specialize in working with pregnant women.  My underwater work was even featured on an Herbal Essence commercial last year. WOW!

I love what I do so much, that I do more photography than travel writing nowadays. Which I think is so ironic, because I never saw myself doing this for a living.

My goals are just increasing the awareness in the community that my business is here and I provide this unique; one-of-a-kind service and experience.  I also want to be an advocate for children learning how to swim at an early age; especially African-American children. Historically, this demographic of children don’t always have access or opportunity to learn this valuable life skill and I want to be apart of that change.

 

Are you involved in anything else within the community?

I believe in a community of kindness and try to be a positive force of change in any community I live in.

I volunteer in the community and enjoy using my time, talent, skills and knowledge to help others.  I’ve volunteered with the Special Olympics, The Village Wardrobe and Foster Village Austin. I’m also an active member with my neighborhood HOA — I’m on both the Welcome and Social Committees.

 

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

The community in general has been gracious to me and my family.  We feel welcomed and accepted. We’ve been able to purchase our first home with ease and life just keeps getting better here, by the day.  Everyone is so friendly and the hospitality is truly one of the things we missed most about Texas; and we are so very happy to be back. We’ve received unexpected opportunities, new friends, and new connections here and have enjoyed everything our new city has to offer.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you…

Gosh, there are so many things. LOL  But as it pertains to Austin, people that don’t know me would be surprised to know that my family and I will be appearing on a new reality television show on HGTV this summer.  It was filmed in Austin a couple months ago.

Headshot photo by Tameko Cox

I can’t wait to see that! Let me know when it is airing!

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