Raised by Hippies

Thinking Out Loud with Ira Lippke

Ira Lippke Studios


So I was raised by hippies —Christian hippies in a school bus — in the woods in Washington State. We really lived on the edge. You know, we didn’t have much money. But also, we treated everyone as an intriguing human, no matter who they were, rich or poor. I learned from my hippie parents in the woods just that we’re all the same. And I think that’s really carried on into my [wedding photography] work. We all have the same hopes and fears.


Photography is a form of contemplation. I’m not creating content, I’m framing content. I’m setting a focus. I’m directing an eye. So while I’m working, I am a contemplative that uses photography as my medium to explore deep experiences of humanity. It’s a spiritual practice.


I’ve also done quite a bit of photography for different humanitarian groups around on the world. I was in Indonesia when that huge 2004 tsunami happened. I will never internalize the suffering that I saw. I’ve seen terrible abject poverty around the world and how devastating malaria can be. And I’ve been at refugee camps. I’ve seen the human soul in this context … and also at these beautiful [wedding] celebrations.


They really feed into each other for me. They really create this kind of symbiotic relationship. It really shows me that we’re all humans. We’re all mysterious, evolving images of God. That life is fragile.  Every breath is a gift.

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Center for Faithful Business

Seattle Pacific University

Dr. JoAnn Flett, Executive Director



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