David Franco, a Los Angeles-based photographer, on the light and the dark.
AFLW: What drives you to take photos of Los Angeles?
David Franco: I was born and raised in Venice, and Los Angeles has always been home to me. The landscape has been changing, for better or worse, and what better way to appreciate the city than by documenting it and preserving those memories.
AFLW: What parts of L.A. do you like to focus on and why?
DF: I love our beaches. They’re certainly not perfect but that’s probably why I’m so drawn to them. They have a certain grit that you can’t get anywhere else. I’m also drawn to older buildings and architecture that has a soul.
AFLW: Your photos have definite tone to them — the light in them expresses a lot of emotion. Do these images express how you feel about the city?
DF: Definitely. As I mentioned before, the landscape and personality of the city have been changing, and I think there’s a sadness that looms over it. We have bright and sunny days the vast majority of the year, but we’ve been pairing that with tearing down communities to make way for tech startups and corporations. I think that kind of environment drives away artists, and I think my photos show a darker tone that reflects my view.
AFLW: Our debut issue is about love/hate — the love and hate people have for this city, the objects and people in it. Love lost and found. How do feel your photos relate to this sense of love or raw emotion?
DF: Even when I was in design school, I always gravitated toward darker themes. I think there’s this part of us that doesn’t get to be expressed very often because we’re scared of being judged or maybe we’re afraid of the emotion, but I think there’s this element of beauty in darkness. Your typical landscape tries to be warm and friendly, and I find that my work usually pairs a warm scene with an element of darkness. I love that juxtaposition, and it’s a theme that’s happening all through Los Angeles.
David Franco is a photographer, graphic designer and art director. He received a B.A. in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Los Angeles and continued his education in photography at Otis College of Art and Design. After working in the tech world, he found a position as a photographer for L.A. County, covering the Board of Supervisors and documenting the events and landmarks happening throughout the county. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. Find him on Instagram @francography.