Fine Art Photography Daily



LENSCRATCH is a daily journal that explores contemporary photography and offers opportunities for exposure and community. Created in 2007, Aline Smithson set a goal of writing about a different photographer each day, presenting work in a way that allows for a deeper understanding of a photographer’s intent and vision.

Since its inception, LENSCRATCH has featured the work of thousands of photographers and has provided a platform to launch numerous portfolios. LENSCRATCH has been a media partner to numerous photography festivals and organizations such as CENTER, Filter Photo Festival, Medium Photo Festival, and LOOK3.

LENSCRATCH is considered one of the 10 photography blogs you should be reading according to Source Photographic Review,, Rangefinder and InStyle Magazine.

Aline Smithson, Founder and Editor

Aline Smithson is a Los Angeles based artist best known for her conceptual portraiture and a practice that uses humor and pathos to explore ideas of childhood, aging, and the humanity that connects us. She received a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and was accepted into the College of Creative Studies, studying under artists such as William Wegman, Alan Ruppersburg, and Charles Garabian. After a career as a New York Fashion Editor, Aline returned to Los Angeles and to her own artistic practice.

She has exhibited widely including over 40 solo shows at institutions such as the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shanghai, Lishui, and Pingyqo Festivals in China, The Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, the Center of Fine Art Photography in Colorado, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Verve Gallery in Santa Fe. In addition, her work is held in a number of public collections and her photographs have been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, PDN, Communication Arts, Eyemazing, Real Simple, Soura, Visura, Shots, Pozytyw, and Silvershotz magazines.

In 2012, Aline received the Rising Star Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography for her contributions to the photographic community. In 2014, Aline’s work was selected for the Critical Mass Top 50 and she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER. In 2015, the Magenta Foundation published her first significant monograph, Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiography. In 2016, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum commissioned Aline to a series of portraits for the upcoming Faces of Our Planet Exhibition. Aline lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Harry, and considers her children her greatest achievement. She is not yet ready to get another dog but actively borrows from friends.


Grant Gill, Exhibitions Editor and Contributing Writer

Grant Gill is the Projects Editor and a Contributing Writer for LENSCRATCH, and an emerging artist based in Milwaukee, WI. Recently graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, with a BFA in photography. He was formerly an Assistant Registrar for the Haggerty Museum of Art, working on photography exhibitions, such as Dark Blue: Water as Protagonist. He continues to show in group shows in both the Midwest and the East Coast.

His convictions in magic have followed him to adulthood, becoming the cornerstone to most of his work. Using photography, his stories reveal the fragile states of reality, and embrace the onset of happenings. Recently Grant’s focus has been directed towards unexplained phenomena that have cult followings and seem probable in the realms of science.


Sarah Stankey, Exhibitions Editor and Contributing Writer

Sarah Stankey is an Exhibitions Editor and a Contributing Writer for LENSCRATCH and received her BFA in photography from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2013.  She now lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin where she is working on her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her photographs have been exhibited in group shows regionally and nationally, including the Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan and Soho Photo Gallery in New York City. Sarah’s work has been published both online and in print including Art Photo Index, Lens Culture, Aint-Bad Magazine and F-Stop Magazine.

Sarah’s work reflects on the different aspects of nature as encountered by humans and considers our coexistence to animals. She is interested in the ways that people manipulate and interfere with the natural world.

Clay Lipsky, Art Director

Clay Lipsky is the Art Director for LENSCRATCH, an Emmy Award winning graphic designer, a fine art photographer and usually a dude that abides. He was raised in Florida and moved steadily westward applying his unique visual style in print, on air and online. Yet after years of pushing pixels for others Clay experienced a new-found interest with the photographic medium. Consequently he is now focused on pursuing photography as fine art. His work has been exhibited in various shows including those at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Pink Art Fair Seoul, Ballarat Foto Bienale and The Impossible Project Spaces in NYC & Warsaw, Poland. Clay has also been published internationally in print and online, most notably through Esquire Russia, Wired Italia, Yahoo! Germany, Diffusion and Shots Magazines.


Jonas Yip, Technical Director

Jonas Yip claims to be a photographer and musician. Sure, his fine art photographic work has been exhibited internationally, published in a monograph (Paris: Dialogues and Meditations, Nanjing University Press, 2008) and accepted into the permanent collections of the San Diego Museum of Art and National Museum of Chinese Literature in Beijing. And yeah, he records and releases music with a few bands and as a solo producer, and occasionally pops up on a stage somewhere in Los Angeles. But with this new gig as LENSCRATCH Technical Director the truth emerges: he’s secretly still a techie at heart hacking away at websites and, despite his best efforts, unable to the fully suppress the years of Silicon Valley hi-tech startup madness.


Katie Harwood, Director of Marketing

Katie Harwood is an artist and photographer based in Colorado. She earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA from Columbia College Chicago. Most recently, Harwood received the Innovations in Imaging award from the Society for Photographic Education for her series Everything Is Fine Here. She is the Founder & Navigator at Big Bad Bettie Press, a small publishing company dedicated to the image and the object. Her work has been exhibited widely in the US, exists in private and museum collections, and has been published in online journals such as Don’t Take Pictures and F-Stop. Working in an expanded documentary style, Harwood’s work explores ideas of kin, environment, and suburbia and the oddities that happen in these spaces.


Val Patterson, Social Media Editor

Val Patterson is the Social Media Editor for LENSCRATCH, and a Los Angeles artist specializing in fine art portraiture, travel and landscape photography. Her work has been exhibited in group shows, and published online and in print internationally. Val is an advocate for women’s causes and has created The Pink Project and The Mona Lisa Project, both photography books in support of the fight against breast cancer and her favorite charity, RAINN. When she doesn’t have a camera in her hands, Val enjoys pinball, opera and archery. She secretly hopes to one day make it onto the U.S. Olympic Archery Team.


Noelle Swan Gilbert, Copy Editor

Since joining LENSCRATCH as its copy editor, Noelle Swan Gilbert is delighted to have an answer to that oft-asked question, “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” When she’s not looking for misplaced modifiers and dangling prepositions, Noelle is a fine art and documentary photographer, with diverse bodies of work that use a variety of cameras. In 2010, Noelle was a Critical Mass finalist for Life After Death, a body of work documenting the tragic effects of her sister’s murder. In 2011, Noelle was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize in Photography for Right Now, This Is The Way It Is, a fine art series documenting insignificant yet poignant moments in her family’s life. Noelle continues to document people’s stories through photography, and her work has been published and exhibited internationally.

Noelle is a founding member of Six Shooters Collective, a group of six fine art photographers engaged in a daily photographic dialogue. Noelle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and teenage daughters.


Patty Lemke, Resource Editor

Patty Lemke is a third generation native Angelino with a penchant for plastic cameras and b/w photography. When not assisting workshops at the Los Angeles Center for Photography, Patty packs up her gear and heads out for destinations to be determined upon arrival. Always along for the ride is Patty’s personal assistant, a now 13year old dog named Arbor.

Her award winning images of the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival are Patty’s most recognizable images to date. Shot before sunrise and printed in quiet monotones these images have been exhibited at galleries across the United States as well as various publications and international on line venues.

Crossing into digital, Patty has a couple of projects percolating; portraits of the Mojave Desert with its various denizens and time lapse films documenting the urban sprawl that is Los Angeles.


Julia Bennett, Visual Media Editor

Julia Bennett is the LENSCRATCH Visual Media Editor, a fine art photographer, book artist, and marine scientist exploring the intersections between science, visual art, and the contemporary social landscape. Julia’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including the Columbia Museum of Art (SC), CSIRO (AUS), and The Pence Gallery (CA). Her photographs have been published both online and in print, most notably through WIRED, Featureshoot, and PetaPixel, and she has received numerous grants and awards for her work photographing plankton in the series Into the Umbra.

When she isn’t exploring the world with her Mamiya, Julia is contemplating whether adopting a dog is a good idea and trying to wean herself off coffee. At the moment, Julia is based in Los Angeles, CA.