Working backwards, Lisa Ahlberg has been an airplane inspector and structures mechanic, photographer, gardener, floral arranger, truck assembler, textile machine operator, garment worker sewing swimsuits, terry cloth robes, women’s coats, women’s skirts and neck ties, knitting machine operator, sports jacket embroiderer and peanut factory packer. For many years she has been involved in the struggles of working people, unionists and family farmers. These experiences inform her work.
“I have little interest in celebrity culture. I am an industrial worker myself and it is working people I turn to with my camera. I am influenced by outstanding photographers such as Diane Arbus, Mike Disfarmer, Milton Rogovin and Seydou Keita, artists who have all produced revealing portraits that capture a certain place and time as well as the dignity of their subjects.
Nickolas Muray, another exceptional artist articulated a quality of successful portrait photography with which I identify very much: ‘Photography [is]…also a contact between people – to understand human nature and record, if possible, the best in each individual.’”
Lisa Ahlberg is a graduate of the Photographic Center Northwest, a center for the photographic arts in the Pacific Northwest. Since 2009, she has served as a member of its Board of Directors and is an active member of the community of photographers it serves.