Lawrence Francis: I grew up in Manhattan between Harlem and mostly Washington Heights..
How long have you been making photos?
Capturing moments with a camera it’s something I loved doing for over 10 years now. My close friend was selling a camera he purchased for $300. I decided to buy it because I've always loved taking pictures.
What inspired you to start photographing?
There was always some amazing graffiti (between Harlem and Washington Heights). I saw this as art while others may have viewed it as vandalism. I felt the need to highlight the beauty of this often undesirable artwork in my community. I fell in love with street art. I made it my goal to capture every piece of graffiti that I felt deserved to be admired. Through shooting street art, my love for New York City grew. I felt that I was too, an artist, capturing moments people didn’t really get to see. There’s this rawness, realistic beauty about inner, impoverished neighborhoods that had a need to be appreciated.
Where are your favorite places or things to photograph in New York?
My favorite places to shoot are Washington Heights, Harlem, Chinatown, and the Bronx. Whenever I’m around these places, I feel the nostalgia of New York and I desire to keep it alive as much as possible.