Home 2021 Conference & Annual Meeting Speakers

2021 Conference & Annual Meeting Speakers

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Philip Blair – native to the Pacific Northwest, Philip Blair is a landscape photographer based in Seattle, WA.  He exhibits his work locally, does speaking and teaching engagements and creates custom artwork that carries personal message and meaning.  Recent exhibits include Solitude: Snow & Ice 2017,  February & March 2020 at Kenmore Camera’s gallery (Kenmore, Washington). This exhibit was first shown at Leica Store Bellevue, Bellevue Square (Bellevue, Washington) in November/December 2018. Recent teaching events include Leica Akademie USA (workshop series): Alpine Photography with Philip Blair (Mt. Rainier WA, October 2019) and The Monochrom Landscape with Philip Blair (Deception Pass WA, Jan 2019).

Richard Chalfan was shown his uncle’s new M3 when he was 10 years old and was hooked, even though he wasn’t allowed to touch it!  It was 25 more years before he owned his first Leica, a IIIf, but it was a start.

Richard was particularly inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s early work with a Leica A. He started shooting a model A, using ASA 25 and slower film, to explore what it would have been like to use a Leica around 1930. That led to his using almost all of the 22 models of Leicas he now owns. Richard, one of LHSA’s “ask an Expert” panelists, enjoys sharing the experiences and encourages others to do the same.

Sandra Eisert is the only White House picture editor to work for three previous U.S. presidents.  She was the picture editor for three major newspapers, is a former National Press Photographers Association Newspaper Picture Editor of the Year, has judged World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, and Society for News Design international competitions. She has been an editor, designer, and/or strategist for well over 100 visual books and also made key contributions to Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage for Silicon Valley’s San Jose Mercury News. Sandra also designed and was one of the founders of the first real internet news website, Microsoft’s MSNBC.com, which changed the face of the internet and picture use on it. 

Image by Gorden Campbell

Cheriss May discovered that visual storytelling is her passion and found her purpose. She is a lauded portrait photographer, and adjunct professor at Howard University, her alma mater. Her passion radiates through her aptitude to connect to the soul of those she photographs. Cheriss’s work centers on the intersectionality of race, culture, and politics — from the White House to Capitol Hill and everyday life in communities across the country.

Through her work documenting the ceremonial vote count at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Cheriss was inside during the insurrection. Although traumatic, she continued to work while barricaded in Congressman Jim Clyburn’s office with his staff. Cheriss finds strength through telling the powerful stories of people who are passionate about what they do, resilient, despite challenges.

She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and has been published in O Magazine, The White House website, NBC News, the Today Show, and other international publications. Her work is featured in a permanent exhibit, MFON’s “In Conversation: Visual Meditations on Black Masculinity” at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, CNN 2020 Year in Pictures, Women Photograph 2020 Year in Pictures, and she has images highlighted in a BET social justice campaign, ‘Content for Change’. Cheriss was awarded 2020 Artist of the Year by her high school, St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City, Mo. She has work featured in international photo festivals, an exhibition, “Cheriss May Soul Connection”, at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, CA., and an exhibit, “Reaching for Justice” at Full Circle Fine Art in Baltimore, MD. Her work is featured in a permanent exhibit, MFON’s “In Conversation: Visual Meditations on Black Masculinity”, at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Cheriss is an advocate for inclusive storytellers and storytelling, lecturing and leading organizations that work towards gender, racial and social parity. Originally from Kansas City, Mo., Cheriss resides in the Washington, D.C. area.