Meet Green Star Lisa Leslie – Photographer, Writer & Passionate about our Environment!

I view the world through the eye of a lens. The textural complexity of a flower study, the flawless arc as a dolphin clears the water, the essence of a child’s personality revealed in a perfect instant – I feel compelled to capture the beauty that surrounds me.

I am based in South Africa’s Garden Route, one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on earth. Since completing my National Diploma in photography, I have been fortunate to have worked across multiple genres. From the high gloss pages of travel and lifestyle magazines to gritty newsprint, my images have appeared in a wide variety of publications.

I have also penned hundreds of articles over the past 15 years, writing primarily about nature and travel within the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region, while also covering many important conservation issues, including the threat of invasive alien vegetation and marine and wildlife concerns.

I am passionate about children and love documenting their free spirits and unadulterated joy from birth and beyond.

An ardent conservationist, photographing and writing about the environment and the various eco-tourism destinations of South Africa fulfils my intense love of the natural world.

What are you most passionate about?

I would say that I am most passionate about my family, my friends and the preservation of our environment.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

I suppose jumping out of an aeroplane from 10 000 feet to do a tandem skydive was one of the craziest things that I’ve done that I can actually share!

What makes you angry?

Man’s negative impact on the natural world makes me mad, and sad,  particularly when it comes to plastic pollution and overfishing within the marine environment. People need to realise that a healthy ocean is essential to our long term survival as a species.

If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?

I would build a humble, off-the-grid home and make a massive veggie garden, with lots of fruit trees … so that I can start to move towards a more self sustainable lifestyle.

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

Definitely a gatherer.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

A whole bunch of old, worn-out pairs.

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

I would prepare a delicious plant based meal, perhaps a Mediterranean style feast or a veggie curry!

How would people communicate in a perfect world?

Face to face.

What do you work toward in your free time?

I often take photo’s of the beach and waves in my spare time. I would love to get underwater housing for my camera so that I could get under the water to photograph. That’s the dream.

If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?

I would answer the emails pertaining to possible jobs as I am always eager to get new work in as a freelance photographer. And any emails from a family member or friend.

Name 3 thing in nature you find most beautiful.

The ocean is my happy place, so anything to do with the marine environment – especially humpback whales! I also love the complexity of flowers which is revealed when doing macro photography. I love taking walks through our indigenous Knysna Forests – a living, breathing verdant web of life.

Have you used plastic bags for your shopping in the last two weeks?

No ways! I never use plastic shopping bags. I always take a reusable bag when I go to the store.

What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment? Many people think that individually they can’t make a difference to the environment. I wish people would realise how wrong they are. Every positive step adds up to make a collective and positive difference. For me, it is about being continually mindful of my daily lifestyle choices and the impact they could have on the environment. Saying no to single use plastic was my first step in my commitment to helping the environment. The second serious shift I made was to start eating a plant-based diet. Animal agriculture causes serious environmental degradation and I decided some time ago that I could not be part of that. And I urge people to grow some of their own food. Eating food that one has grown makes one feel more connected to the environment.

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