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Leia Maminta Smith grew up in the Philippines. She moved to the US in pursuit of science and completed her PhD in Tumor Cell Biology from Northwestern University. She trained in molecular biology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO and at the National Cancer Institute, Maryland. She worked in academic and biotech organizations and is a still a scientific consultant. To explore her love of photography, she immersed herself in learning more about the history, techniques and business of photography. She is currently the vice president of Seattle Photographic Society. She has earned multiple awards from the Northwest Council of Camera Clubs and Shoreline Arts Festival. She enjoys doing family portraits and travel photography. To see more of her works, visit


Artist Statement


Capturing the moment and preserving the memories are my primary motivations in taking photographs. I see amazing images all around us and appreciate the beauty in minute details of life, in the grandeur of nature, and in the warmth of human relationships. A photograph is both

art and science to me since it can show the beauty in the details, document the essence of life or the significance of an event. I love to experiment with perspective and colors, and find subjects that may look ordinary and see them in a different light. I found joy in photography, in seeing the unexpected and making images that I can share and be enjoyed by others. This year I will be revisiting my trip to Bagac, Bataan with a personal photo travelogue: “Travel Back in Time: Baliksaya Pilipinas! Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar”.