My Lens & Me

Pandemics Happen

Written by: Lisa Nalven

Written by: Lisa Nalven

Photojournalist|Dancer|Philanthropist

“The only constant is change.” – Heraclitus Pandemics happen. Impermanence happens.  Hard times are happening. I, along with the rest of the world, am struggling to remain upbeat. I send my heartfelt love, and wishes for good health, to you and yours.  As a result of being sequestered, I’m excited to share that I’ve built a […]

“The only constant is change.” Heraclitus

Pandemics happen. Impermanence happens.  Hard times are happening. I, along with the rest of the world, am struggling to remain upbeat. I send my heartfelt love, and wishes for good health, to you and yours. 

As a result of being sequestered, I’m excited to share that I’ve built a store on Shopify. It morphed into something I didn’t expect at all. Our Collective Humanity Shop is a Fine Art Flower Site For Seekers. It wasn’t calculated, it just happened organically.  It’s an extension of who I am, a life-long learner and seeker. I’m way out of my comfort zone, but I’m all in.

Boobalicious, a slightly manipulated agave thorn.

I hope that you will “follow” my journey. As much as tech drives me crazy it’s also amazing. With the help of a giving app, 5% of the gross sales will be donated to one of six charities chosen at checkout. I even created an e-book! It was a bit like herding cats and pulling teeth but I did it.   I’m excited to share it here.

“There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.” Edwin Denby
Would you rather be right or happy?
If it rains on your parade, dance in it.

I’ve become obsessed with creating these Dry Erase Boards. I’m a big self-helper. 12 step programs, therapy, intention setting, and the like have brought me to where I am today, and I’m super grateful. I’m loving curating quotes and sharing what feels really personal to me. Maybe, just maybe, they help others as well. Now back to my personal photography and what else I’ve been up to since my last post.

Gaby and her beloved dragons.

The Bold Beauty Project presents exhibitions that feature women with varying different abilities; its mission is to change the perceptions of what it means to be beautiful and successful.  I participated with my niece Gabriela, which made it extra special for me. Gaby has cerebral palsy, survived a horrific car accident, and has survived childhood trauma.  I’m crazy about this image, as she is loving on her “dragons.” She is strong, resilient, and awesome, and of course, I love her too.

Check out Valeria. Her spirit shines brightly. She will make you smile for sure.

Bold Beauty exhibited at Art Palm Beach. I had a little time to play with some of the models. A very inspiring bunch of young women.

If you can read spanish…may I suggest Fuerza Sabri. She’s has a remarkable story and a fierce spirit.
Pictured here is Joy and her fiance. A Bold Beauty model and beautiful spirit as is her mom, Dr Eva Ritvo, co-director of Bold Beauty and author of the book, Bekinder.
Robert Zuckerman. photographer, philanthropist, and an all-around fabulous human living with APBD, Adult Polyglucosan Body Disease. His latest work Planet Portraits is a testament to his resilience and creativity.
A blessing from Rabbi Avrohom Lipsyc and son. I love this photo.
Maylan The Sunrise

I met Maylan Chavez at Bold Beauty. I learned about multiple system atrophy (MSA) while following her on social media. She shared fearlessly about living with a debilitating disease. She has a zest for life and I knew I wanted to co-create with her. She chose a sun goddess crown to reflect her sunny disposition. That’s who she is, full stop.  Lucky for me, sun goddesses and flowers work well together.

I describe what I do as “capturing love on life’s terms.” The love I witnessed, shown here, was palpable.  Simply love.

In June I photographed David and my good buddy Francois.

My dear friend Francois Szony and his porch partner..

David, Francois’s neighbor, was tons of fun. While showing off his rope swing, he let his inner child rip. 

I went back a couple of weeks later to photograph David with his beloved Peggy, who has pulmonary arterial hypertension that makes her very vulnerable to the “beast”. Their love was grand.

I’d like to end with a beginning, the rebirth of my beloved friend Francois Szony who transitioned on August 24th from COVID-19. Although I am heartbroken, I am grateful for our friendship. He lived a long, healthy, and full life, and for this, he was truly lucky.  You can check out one of my first blog posts. Francois Szony, Forever The Dancer.

I’d like to thank Damaris Ferrer for helping to keep Francois’s legacy alive. She has been distributing his costumes amongst the theatrical community to keep his legacy alive. Christopher is a great young dancer whose life has been touched by Francois. Pictured above from 5 years ago and most recently with a couple of Francois’s famous props.

On Franois’s 90th Birthday we celebrated at the Goldcoast Ballroom. He was 90, I was 60, Ashley Grub 30, and Christopher Lang Jr. was 5 years old. This is part of our little dance. This kind of celebration seems so foreign in today’s world. Thanks for the memories, Francois. Check out Christopher, who directed, danced in, and edited this VIDEO to advertise my Dry Erase Boards. At 10, he’s now my personal videographer.

Please check out our Dance by clicking on HERE.

Once again, thanks for being here. Shamelessly, I ask that you check out my new store and sign up.  This blog will remain for my personal work. Your address will not transfer to my new email list, you will need to sign up anew. This is my first commercial enterprise, and I’m on a big learning curve.  With fits and starts and lots of frustration, I’m opening.  Please bear with me as I figure it out. As you know, I’m no spring chicken and this tech stuff has been daunting! If you have any issues please let me know and I’d love some feedback.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a rather small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” AA Milne

With a heart full of gratitude, Lisa 

Follow my journey on my social media!

Thank You Sandrin Flint Photography for these beautiful photographs.
I’m Back & Psyched!

I’m Back & Psyched!

In order for me to keep giving it away, I’ve created an actual business of my heartfelt photography.

The Cuban Zest For Life

The Cuban Zest For Life

Cuba, the art, beauty, grace, and spirit of a passionate country that I have fallen in love with.

37 Comments

  1. Debra Zenn

    Thank you for thinking of me when you sent this out, this was absolutely awesome. I needed something uplifting right about now.

    Debby

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Thanks Debby, We all need to be uplifted! Right now it’s a heavy lift. Sending love. :-))

      Reply
  2. Jemima McPherson

    Love it!

    Reply
  3. Michele J

    What a joy!!!!

    Reply
    • LisaN

      thanks Michele. Is this Michele from Trinadad?

      Reply
  4. Eva vazquez

    What an awesome journey. Such a beautiful heart.

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Aw Eva. I try. I try to focus on the good. As much sh*t I got from my mom, she gave me the most important stuff, love and kindness.

      Reply
  5. Deborah

    I am so moved and absolutely changed by the magnificence of what you are doing. Lisa, you are a humanitarian river, flowing with abundant art, kindness and connection. Kudos to you! And what a tribute to your dear friend, Francois. I am wordless yet filled to the brim and overflowing. Magnificent.

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Gee Deborah, you actually made me cry. Thank you. Let’s all be part of the river of kindness and connection. Not unlike what I’m feeling now with you. And I’m grateful to have the opportunity and a place to share my love and friendship with Francois.

      Reply
  6. Judy Dempsey

    Beautiful idea from a beautiful soul! Thank you for sharing your gifts and passions…we all benefit. Love and hugs.

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Thanks Judy. God knows I and my children have benefited so much from what you have shared with the world. I’m happy to now have something that’s a win-win doing something that feels so right. xo

      Reply
  7. Micki

    What a lovely way to enjoy your creativity and your giving heart,
    I’m a FAN a millions times over .
    It is simply just Beautiful Lisa .
    Keep going my friend~
    Truly
    Micki Mazza

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Thanks Micki. Well, it’s a mutual admiration society I guess. I’m your fan and keep doing what YOU love. We are the lucky ones, that we love what we do and it makes people feel better about themselves. And we are both dedicated to service as are most of my good friends. We are part of the kindness tribe!

      Reply
  8. Diana

    Thank you Lisa for making my Sunday morning so joyous with the beauty of your photos and the meaningful quotes. You have worked so hard to make your ambitious dream come true and we can now benefit from your awesome work.
    Blessings and many wishes for your success!

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Thanks Diana. Yes, I have worked my ass off, unfortunately not that much of it! LOL I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I do. Of course, I’m thrilled to make your morning brighter. xoxoo

      Reply
  9. Diane Sobo

    Lisa.. this is so beautiful. Congratulations on your new endeavor doing what you love and are passionate about. Thank you for sharing this with me. Your artistic creativity, along with your beautiful giving soul, really moved me this morning. With that being said, I see your love and your kindness in everything you do. That has been constant from the day that I met you. Grateful for you and our friendship. Much Love…

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Oh Diane, you are one of my first friends here in Florida. You have always been my friend and we share the same values and love. As seekers, I know you get this site well. Love you and I too am grateful for your friendship. xo

      Reply
  10. Eric Nalven

    Wonderful!

    Lots of hard work culminating in a remarkable sense of beauty.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Thanks Eric. Yes, don’t tell, but you helped! LOL

      Reply
  11. Cyl Santillan

    Hi Lisa: Beautiful work and so refreshingly original. I hope you remember our meeting in LA. Keep up the lovely creative work!

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Of course I remember you! Thanks Cyl, Apparently sequestration serves me well! LOL Not really, but I’m really grateful that I have a creative outlet to soothe my soul.

      Reply
  12. Francine Feldman Lippiett

    Everyone and Everything is amazing… and absolutely brilliant just like you sister Lisa ❤️X

    Reply
    • LisaN

      My family and friends are the wind beneath my wings. I’ve been so blessed. Of course my biggest blessing, mine, yours, and a light to so many, my mommy, Marian.

      Reply
  13. Donnie CHANG

    Lisa…for as long as I’ve known you some 50 loving years plus, you never cease to amaze me. Just when I think you are at full blossom, another sprig appears stronger, brighter and more colorful over shadowing your prior artistic creativity. Congrats on this new chapter…may your book be eternal…Love Donnie

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Thank my dear old pal. We go back many moons. One of the cool things is realizing that I could reinvent myself. Bucking agism. I hope I continue to squeeze all the juice out of life I can. xo

      Reply
  14. Robert

    Your gifts are so apparent in everything you do. You have a very lucky husband.

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Yes, I am blessed with a wonderful husband. Love you. Thanks Shirley and Max.

      Reply
  15. Diane Lansing

    Wow this is the most awesome site and love your blog! And to see you dance, all of you was fantastic! What an inspiration he is.

    Reply
    • LisaN

      Thanks Diane. Francois was my buddy and I love that you watched it. When I do it still gives me joy. Thanks for your support and love!

      Reply
  16. Roni

    You never cease to amaze, delight, nurture, and surround me (and everyone who has the honor of knowing you) with boundless positive energy and love. So much love. Our Collective Humanity is glorious my dear friend. It is a dance of joy and hope. And so much love.

    Reply
    • LisaN

      I like that you called it a dance of love, that’s perfect. Thank you, my dear friend. I am so lucky to have such loving, supportive, compassionate peeps in my tribe. WE, YOU, I, and our friends and family are the lucky ones.

      Reply
  17. tony powers

    Lisa, you are nature. You embody the whole of the meaning of the word “artist” – and the positive force of your love, your grace and your humanity shines on us all. You still have within you the wonder of the nine year old I met all those years ago yesterday. I send my love and admiration.

    Reply
  18. Sandra D Muvdi

    I love how your photos can capture a special moment in time which become treasured memories for all of us who have been touched with your special photography. The Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation has so many moments in our history preserved thanks to your giving and caring spirit. JJCCF and I love you Lisa!

    Reply
    • LisaN

      I love you too Sandra. You know how I feel about what you do. You are a power of example of turning unbearable pain into a gift to others. How could I not like being part of your tribe! I’m so grateful that I have something to give. Looking forward to giving the tree and goodies to Baby Eli’s family. More memories for you!!! xoxoxo

      Reply
  19. Susan Storch

    Theses images are so alive Lisa, I not only see and feel them, I can taste them Bravo!

    Reply
    • LisaN

      You know, there something really sweet to be respected by others that do what you do. From one photog to another…THANKS Susan.

      Reply
  20. Linda Kraus

    Elegant eloquent sheer uplifting beauty is abundant in this blog and site. I just spent some time visiting. The gift of remarkable talent you possess is shining brightly, only outdone by the love you give out. So Lisa you never have appeared to be daunted by hard work but I know this had to be a herculean effort. Congratulations. And as for your mommy, you are your mothers daughter. Love. ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply

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