Around the world – a creative life

Celebrating art of all kinds lies at the heart of all the sins and, to celebrate this year’s World Photo Day, Lisa has dug out her photo albums (physical and digital) to share some of the pics that represent significant moments in her creative life.

We hope it sparks your own ideas for photo essays – Dahl-related or otherwise – to submit to us. For more information on all the different forms of art we’re interested in, check out our submissions page.



I was given a camera for my seventh birthday and have been taking photographs ever since. This was my second ever effort. The first was of my parents in bed and, frankly, I worked on the basis that my baby sister would be a lot less grumpy about a pic of her half cropped head and our Snoopy collection (it got bigger) than they would be about an ancient bed head shot. My Dad travelled a lot for work, and for two years we lived in China. The country represents the start of so many of my loves: Snoopy, travel, photography and writing. I wrote my first book at the age of six. It was called The Magic Key and I would send installments to my Dad who had gone out to China ahead of us. He’s still waiting for the ending.



Although my parents divorced in my teens, they both continued to travel with their new partners and for a while my mum and stepdad found themselves in Dubai. This was back when the Burj al Arab was still the most mental thing about the place. My stepdad passed away a couple of years later, and I include this here because his passing represented the moment I decided to stop talking about writing a book and actually get on and write one. Like The Magic Key, we’re all still waiting for the ending. Check back in thirty years.



I was lucky enough to travel a lot with my old job – much of it with a fab photographer called Richard Davies. I tried to learn as much as I could from him (I still have a long way to go), taking my own photos, while trying not to get in the way. This one was taken at a school we visited in Indonesia. I include it here because it represents a moment in which I began to grow more confident in my ability to tell stories through image.



I chose this image because it reminds me to always look out for the smaller things in life. The black heron uses its wings as an umbrella to create shade over the water so that it can find its next meal.



I could have bored you stupid with Japan pics. It is difficult to sum up the scale of its impact on me creatively, but, suffice to say, I understand why the late, great Angela Carter’s writing and outlook on life were so inspired by the two years she spent in the country. This photo is my most favourite. It’s taken at the resting place of Japan’s first shogun, in a beautiful town called Nikko. We had no idea it was going to snow until we woke up the next morning. We arrived so early it was just us, the monks and the snow. There is a tranquillity to this image that I aspire to in life.



As much as I love my travels, there’s always something lovely about coming home. And, for me, my cats represent that home. Also, who doesn’t love a cat photo?


All photos ©Lisa Davison


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