So this one time at band camp….okay not really (I’ve never even been to band camp LOL)…..I’m Lisa Collins-Haynes, lover of passport stamps, long walks on beaches on exotic islands and a self proclaimed BBQ snob. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 26 years, we have a 24 year-old daughter and a 2 year old grand puppy, named Cookie.I’m originally from Dallas and have lived in North Austin since 2018. I attended college at Sam Houston State University and met my husband on the first day of school….yes, literally on the first day. I have a B.S.in Hospitality and Tourism, a MBA and graduated Summa Cum Laude.
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I’m a writer, turned photographer for the past 7 years. Before I started my photography business, I was traveling the world as an international travel writer for several magazines and online publications. Everyone thinks it’s the best job in the world, which they’re not wrong– but it’s also a lonely job, because many times I’d have to travel without my family and friends when I was on assignment. I know, I know — first world problems! People often ask me what was my favorite place I ever traveled to and I’d have to say that I have several favorites, but the most interesting places were Easter Island off the coast of Chile and Madagascar.
Being a travel writer was a great portable career that I could do anywhere in the world; which was very helpful since my husband was a member of the US Air Force. We moved around every couple of years and early on in our marriage it was hard to find employment because my resume was so choppy from all the job hopping I had to do. Becoming a writer allowed me to cater to my craving of seeing the world, fed my ego of seeing my work being published and allowed me to contribute monetarily to my family. As my husband’s career was winding down, I wanted to be home more to enjoy our empty nesting stage of life. I ended up winning a scholarship from a local college to enter into a 2 year photography program and this really how my photography business was born.
I don’t travel as much as I used to, because my photography business is so demanding. I specialize in motherhood sessions and underwater portrait photography . The funny part about that is I had a severe swimming phobia from childhood and couldn’t swim until I was almost 40 years old. A few years ago I signed up for group swimming lessons and cried the first day of class in front of my husband and daughter. I was so afraid that the instructor turned her class over to another instructor and came over to me and said, “God told me to help you.” She gave me private lessons each week until I was no longer afraid and finally learned the basics of swimming across the pool. Fast-forward 2 years later and I flew to Prague to be mentored by an underwater photographer that I admired. She taught me the best of UW photography and with all the challenges I conquered I feel like I was destined to become an underwater portrait photographer.
I feel like I’ve lived 10 lifetimes and I can’t wait to share more of my experiences with you, as we all go through the parent trap…..I mean parenthood together. Even though my daughter is a young adult now, I know she needs me more than ever for guidance and advice. I’m still learning and teaching all at the same time.
To wrap up this all about me blurb, I wanted to share 6 fun facts about me: