• Annie Claire Hudson

Seattle Based Photographer Alyssa Donaldson Brings Fantasy To Life

While coping with setbacks from a year in quarantine, the Seattle photographer found her own inspiration through creating elaborate photo shoots that channeled her love of digital editing, cosplay and fantasy.

While many photographers we see on Instagram fall into either a fashion or landscape focus, Alyssa Donaldson has carved out a unique look to her photos. She plays with different lighting sources, experiments with cool neons and invokes an intergalactic quality. Donaldson talks with us about her process and where she's headed with her work.


Alyssa, you have such a strong sense of art direction in your photography, what inspires your themes?


Alyssa Donaldson: The other artists in my life really inspire me. I make mood boards and draw inspiration from what's all around for each of the shoots. It could be another photo, a song, the sunset, really anything that I feel could reflect the person or mood I'm going for.


COVID is a huge part of all of our lives, how has it impacted your work?


Alyssa Donaldson: I have always loved taking pictures, but it was while pursuing my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation that I fell hard. I took an elective course and loved the mix of photography with digital editing. COVID really put things into perspective for me and gave me the opportunity reflect on my creative outlets. I fell in love all over again. But, logistically it’s hard. Honestly, I take health and safety so seriously I have to wait on a lot of the shoots I really want to do, but it motivates me to plan for everything once things are back to normal. I LOVE (comic con) conventions and want to do group cosplay photoshoots, so that’s something I really look forward to.


Every photographer has their go-to lens, what do you use?


Alyssa Donaldson: I shoot with a Canon EOS R6 and my 50mm lens is probably my favorite for portraits, but I love my 70-200mm zoom for outdoor and landscape.


You really know how to create a vibe, whether it's a futuristic club vibe or a delicate forest feel, what are your favorite shoot experiences?


Alyssa Donaldson: The creative shoots are always my favorite. When it's a spur of the moment let's do a new year's photo shoot with “alien” like make-up it really inspired me to challenge myself.


Where can our followers find you online?


Alyssa Davidson: Lyssalashell.com is my website where I have a kind of running blog of photos of different shoots and where I post the majority of my work. My page on FB is @lyssalashellphotography (private boudoir group for women only is Lyssalashell photography – Boudoir) and IG is lyssalashellphotography


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