While Leysis was born in the city of Cienfuegos, her family soon settled in a town called Amarillas, in the Cuban province of Matanzas, where later she would base an important part of her photography work.
Leysis studied English with the desire to become a teacher and worked as a professor for three years in a junior high school in Havana. When the Maine Photographic Workshops came to Havana in 1999, she was no longer teaching and used to visit the Fototeca very often with her cousin Lazaro Miranda, who was a well-known photographer. Through him she met the Maine staff and started working with them as an assistant.
In 1999 Leysis met Jon Golden, a photographer in one of the workshops, who gave her a Nikon FM2 camera as a present. It was with this camera that she made her most important first photographs and the only camera Leysis used until she began taking digital pictures. In 2000 Leysis participated in a workshop with David Alan Harvey, and in 2001 with Stacey Boge, who was an important teacher in her career as a photographer.
Leysis began seriously taking photos in January 2000. At the beginning she was inspired by her cousin Lazaro’s work of beautiful interiors. Later she studied the master photographers and loved Sebastian Salgado and Sally Man. Leysis has always been drawn to the life of the “campesinos” (people from the countryside) in Cuba, and much of her work is inspired by their way of life, how they live, inside their homes, their daily lives.
In 2003 Leysis had her beautiful daughter Avril and since then she has become her most important motivation for Leysis’ pictures. Her work began to revolve around her family, friends, and home, and now is a reflection of her own daily life.
Her work have been exhibited in different countries such us, Norway, Australia, US, Austria. Leysis photos are part of important private and public collections in Cuba and elsewhere. In 2012 Leysis’ daughter Mia was born, who is now also an incredible inspiration in her life and her photography.
Leysis has collaborated as an assistant with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Havana since 2010. Her website is www.leysisquesada.com.