About Elisa

The Official Version

Elisa Parhad is a writer and photographer in Los Angeles, by way of Seattle, Albuquerque, Austin and Japan. Whether at home or abroad, she travels with a camera, curiosity and an anthropological eye towards art, design, cultural heritage and history. Elisa is the author/photographer of “New Mexico: A Guide for the Eyes,” (winner of the New Mexico Book Award, 2010) and “Southern California: A Guide for the Eyes” (INDIEFab Finalist, 2016). A book about adventuring in the West will be out in 2024.

Cameron Books published her first children’s book, "Los Angeles Is...," in April 2018. Two additional children's books, "Pool Party" and "New York Is..." debut in 2025.

Her writing and photographs have also been published in BBC Travel, Hemispheres, Travel + Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, LA Parent, Sierra magazine, FACES magazine, Western Art and Architecture and others. She is an active member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), and SATW (The Society of American Travel Writers). She lives with her husband and two young sons in Pasadena, California.

The Unofficial Version

Aside from the basic biographical details above, here's what makes me tick:

First, I am a collector of experiences. Given the choice to seek out something new, or the possibility of making a memory, I’ll take it.

Second, I have a need to do something with these experiences, primarily document and share them. This tends to be through photography and writing, perhaps as my way of processing my world and experience. I tend to think in books—this format makes the most sense to me. As of yet, only three have escaped into the world, but many more are brewing.

Third, I am intrigued with a sense of place. Much of what I do is focused on a specific destination. I like to know what people make, what they eat, what they do, the homes they build, the traditions they keep and understand how these patterns came to be. If my life had a mission, it would be to seek and understand the variations of how to live.

Lastly, I have a strong desire to know why things are the way they are. Hence the research interest. And, writing let's me share what I learn and know.

The rest is all details.