The Mask Project


A lot of us became “strangers in a strange land” in the many months of the COVID pandemic. Lost at sea, we struggled to find a safe harbor, while trying to stay safe. This was no less true for artists and photographers. However, artists had an outlet: we could use this as an opportunity to get wildly creative. Many of us lost a lot of work, but that didn’t keep us from documenting what was there: a uniquely crazy situation we could make visual!

I started with the obvious and called it the Mask Project. And then it got fun. I started to interact with people, albeit for short periods of time, and then take those images home and make what I saw – shapes and patterns and personalities. I even took a selfie with my gas mask on.

I know many have lost friends and loved ones, as have I. I look forward to the day there is no more mask project.

Please feel free to visit the rest of my site, and check out my Instagram feed at rollfilm. Thanks!


Liz Roll Photography:

Servicing the corporate, healthcare, non-profit, political, and editorial communities




Why I shoot disasters

Phoenix, OR, January 11, 2021 — Damage from the September fires can still be seen here. Photo by Liz Roll

Disasters – such an odd thing to have such an interest in. Sounds macabre, but it’s anything but. My work for FEMA can be very intense – such as Hurricane Katrina or the days following Hurricane Sandy. But I know I am helping people, by showing the American people — and the powers that be in Washington — what has occurred here. How people are coping, or not coping. The extent of the damage. The tears and the triumphs. To photograph these events, it takes a certain balance between empathy and stoicism. Without enough empathy, I cannot feel their pain and get photos that reflect the proper emotion. Too much empathy, and I cannot function and do my job. It has taken me many years to get the right balance.

Right now, I am in Oregon shooting video of September’s fire aftermath. The people are all gone, there is not the emotion tug at my heartstrings. But I can only imagine what these folks went through, the damage is so extensive. Whole lives, burned up. It is still a tough job, but one that I love.

Phoenix, OR, January 11, 2021 — Hazmat teams From Oregon DOT conduct asbestos surveys prior to debris removal from the Almeda Fire of September 2020.

Announcing My New Web Site

I am so excited to share with you my new website. I used my Covid downtime to recreate the site to better showcase my skills as a portrait and people photographer, and give viewers like you a better sense of who I am. Since you are buying my creative eye, I think this will give you a good idea of how and what I  shoot.

These are two favorites. I love to shoot what I see in everyday life, some would call that “street photography”. The first photo is of a woman in a Havana salon getting her hair done under an old fashioned dryer. The second shot was in Central Park, New York, and I just happened to be crossing a bridge when I saw him. He looks very sad and lonely to me.

These two photos are from my disaster work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The top photo depicts a woman who was rescued after she spent nine days in her attic following Hurricane Katrina. The bottom photograph is from Hurricane Sandy. I typically go on about one or two disasters per year. More on this in a future post!

Please visit the rest of my site, start wherever you like!



Abandoned Cuba

I visited Cuba for the second time in January. One of my objectives was to shoot abandoned buildings, as this is a favorite subject of mine. See some of the results here.


Remembering #Katrina10


Ten years ago, I remember watching the TV in my hotel in Florida as New Orleans was being swamped by Hurricane Katrina. Two days later I would drive through Mississippi, spend the night in my car loaded with three days of supplies, and finally arrive at Louis Armstrong International Airport. What I would find there will stay with me forever – triage areas, dozens of doctors and nurses caring for the injured, people being evacuated.

It was an incredible time of stress and sorrow and sometimes, joy, as I watched a woman get carried out of the floodwaters after being trapped in her attic for nine days. I had the opportunity to revisit New Orleans in July, and while I was glad to see the recovery that has happened, I also know there is a long way to go. I am hopeful that the next time a Katrina comes their way, we will all be better prepared.

Photos from 2005 here


Interview with Al Roker

I really enjoyed being interview with Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams! It will air Friday 8/28 on The Weather Channel at 6:40 AM on the Wake Up with Al show.