About OTL

Meet the Staff

Contact specific members of the driving forces behind OTL's success.

Elisa Thomson, Executive Director

Elisa received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and continued her education at Art Center Pasadena and The Brooks Institute of Photography. She traveled extensively as a photojournalist and worked as a photo editor for ABC-Clio/Exegy. Her teaching is also informed by her many years as a commercial photographer for clients such as Quiksilver, Roxy, Tea & Scones, and House. Before founding Outside the Lens, Elisa was the lead educator at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

Lucy Eagleson, Program Director

Born and raised in Escondido, California, Lucy spent about 3 years living and volunteering at an orphanage in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was during that time that she found herself in the midst of unique stories as she came to know the wise individuals behind those journeys. That wisdom, paired with a deep appreciation for the power of the image, inspired Lucy to pursue a career in filmmaking. Lucy obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Film and TV Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and she continues to produce and direct short documentary films. She is honored to bring her passions together by seeking to instill in young people the importance of telling their stories, while providing them the skills necessary to create digital content.

Tim Lawrence, Operations Manager

Tim is an experienced operations & administrative professional, with extensive experience serving San Diego-based nonprofits. In his free time, "Timmy Too Fun" loves collecting tupperware and maintaining his record for the best Zoolander pose in the office.

Brooke Newman, Education Coordinator

Brooke received her B.A., multiple subject teaching credential, and M.A. in Teaching and Learning from the University of California, San Diego. She has taught for sixteen years, and during that time collaborated with OTL for ten years with the Cameras in the Classroom program. Brooke is excited to mentor our OTL Media Educators and to empower youth across San Diego to use digital media. In her free time, Brooke enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, being outdoors, cooking and gardening.

Liliana Hueso, Media Educator

Liliana is a bi-national bilingual accomplished producer, filmmaker, and photographer. She has extensive experience in teaching media, facilitating workshops, and organizing community events on both sides of the border. Liliana is currently completing her masters in photography management at IBERO Universidad Iberoamericana de Tijuana to add to her degree in mass media communications from ITESO Universidad Jesuita Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX

Amiel Capinpin, Media Educator

Amiel is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Visual Arts-Media focusing on Video and Digital Cinema and a minor in Studio Art. After college, he served a year with Outside The Lens through the LISC AmeriCorps program and now works with our Cameras and Community programs. Amiel is excited to continue working with youth and watching them share their own stories. In his free time, he can be found dancing, running, or playing guitar.

Jana McBeath, Media Educator

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Jana graduated with her M.A. and B.A. in photography from the Manchester School of Art in the North of England. She has extensive experience as a freelance photographer and as a teaching artist for young people and is hugely passionate about both. When not taking photos you can find her dreaming about the ocean or watching sci-fi movies with her husband.

Ke'Ari Brooks, Multimedia Communications Associate

Ke’Ari Brooks earned her B.S. in Global Health from the University of Southern California. Ke’Ari is an AmeriCorps VISTA whose passion lies in giving back to the community by improving access to resources and increasing opportunity. Ke’Ari is excited to engage in the non-profit community, and help Outside The Lens continue to offer youth a creative outlet to express themselves.

Kevin Tung, Program and Marketing Associate

Kevin was born and raised in New York City. He has a B.A. in Sociology from Syracuse University, and a B.A. in Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography. He has a passion for storytelling, and using photography to tell those stories. When not behind a camera you can find him on the golf course, the theater, or playing bar trivia. Kevin currently serves at Outside the Lens through AmeriCorp’s VISTA program.

Madison Stark, Program Development Associate

After earning her B.S. in Biology from UNC Chapel Hill, Madison moved to San Diego to serve a year with AmeriCorps as a Youth Mentor at San Marcos Middle School. Inspired by the at-risk youth she served & the stories they had to tell, she decided to pursue another year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Outside The Lens. Madison is excited to utilize both her creative skill set and experience with youth-serving program models to expand the reach and deepen the impact of Outside the Lens in San Diego communities.

Amari Dixon, Media Educator

Born in Northern California as part of a military family, Amari has lived in the States and London, and is a product of her broad cultural experiences. She began college as a Journalism major and one day picked up a camera to photograph for an event, and never looked back, graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Photojournalism. Her work reflects a creative mixture of interest in cars, sports, fashion, and people from the perspective of a photojournalist. Amari's unique flair allows her to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments and form a lifelong connection with her audience.

Melanie Kaplan, Media Educator

Born and raised in Chicago, Melanie received her B.A. in Studio Art with a specialization in Photography from Illinois State University. During her studies, she joined the daily student run newspaper as a photographer which really sparked her passion for photojournalism. Bringing both her love for photography and joy of working with children, during her time as an art instructor at The Boys & Girls Club, Melanie is proudly helping to empower youth through digital media by serving at Outside the Lens through the AmeriCorps LISC program.