5 Questions: Photographer Lucas Foglia

Kenzie in a Crevasse, Juneau Icefield Research Program, Alaska 2016 | ©Lucas Fogila

Lucas Foglia took some time out from the production of his next book to answer 5 Questions for Esthetic Lens. He touches on the importance of empathy when dealing with one another, his photographic exploration into faith-based environmentalism, and why it is easier to collaborate than compete.

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?

Our activities have changed the weather. We are vulnerable to the storms, droughts, heat waves, and freezes that result from climate change. That feels universal to me, yet the issue in the United States has become politicized. We need to have more empathy. We need to understand that everyone’s world makes sense to them. Then we can have a dialogue that leads to collective action. If we continue with antagonism, then we will continue with a stalemate. I think photographs about climate change need to focus on possible solutions. After a generation of working to convince people that climate change is a problem, we need to start bridging awareness and action.


Esme Swimming, Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore 2014 | ©Lucas Foglia

Nate Clearcutting a Forest Planted 60 Years Earlier, Oregon 2014 | ©Lucas Foglia

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?

I’ve been following the work of Saul Griffith and his team at Otherlab. Their ideas for Rewiring America are truly inspiring. His book is free, here.


Kate in an EEG Study of Cognition in the Wild, Strayer Lab, University of Utah, Utah 2015 | ©Lucas Foglia

Troy Holding a Guinea Fowl Chick, GreenHouse Program, Rikers Island Jail Complex, New York 2014 | ©Lucas Fogila

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?

I just finished printing a series of portraits from New York City, just after the 9/11 attacks. A book of the project will be published by Stanley/Barker next year. When it is reasonable to travel again, I will continue working on a project about mainstream religion in the United States, looking at how environmentalism can be part of faith practice.


New Wind Turbines next to an Abandoned Farm, Texas 2019 | ©Lucas Foglia

New Crop Varieties for Extreme Weather, Geneva Greenhouses, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, New York 2013 | ©Lucas Foglia

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?

I think D.C. and Puerto Rico should become US states.


Lava Boat Tour, Hawaii 2017 | ©Lucas Foglia

Controlled Burn, California 2015 | ©Lucas Foglia

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?

It takes me a long time to decide on a title for a book. For a movie about my life, I would want something that describes the intersections between humans and wild spaces… In my photographs, I want to compel people to look, I want to compel them to ask questions, and I don’t want to give all the answers so they keep on looking… Also, all of the photographs I make are the result of friends introducing me to friends. Professionally, it feels easier to make friends than to network, easier to collaborate than to compete. So maybe something that points to that, too…


Rachel Mud Bathing, Virginia 2009 | ©Lucas Foglia

Goda and Lev in the Cleanest Air on Earth, Hawaii 2016 | ©Lucas Foglia

Lucas Foglia grew up on a small family farm in New York and currently lives in San Francisco. His photographs examine the intersections between humans and wild spaces. He recently published his third book, Human Nature, with Nazraeli Press. Foglia exhibits his work internationally, and his prints are in notable collections including the International Center of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Victoria and Albert Museum. He photographs for magazines including National Geographic Magazine and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Foglia also collaborates with non-profit organizations including Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy.


Portrait of Lucas Foglia | Photo Credit: Mark Mahaney

Lucas Foglia’s current publication, Human Nature can be purchased here.

Lucas Foglia can be found online on his Website and Instagram.


Elk at the Game and Fish Department, Wyoming 2010 | ©Lucas Foglia