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michael D lewis

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Michael Lewis photo highlights a twenty-year journey of passion and artistic dedication. Lewis’s love of photography began as an eight-year-old child living with his mother in the Potrero Hill Housing Project in San Francisco, California. A blue and white Smurf camera given to him by his godmother for Christmas became a tool to sort through and express confused emotions about his largely absent father who struggled with addictions. Lewis’s visual eye and budding talents forged intrinsic connections with his working-class Potrero Hill neighborhood that carried him through high school graduation, through Western College, in Pleasanton, California, where he earned a Bachelors in Criminal Justice, and his recent move to New York City in 2016. Largely self-taught, he describes his work as eclectic, grounded in multiple areas, similar to his hero Gordon Parks, the first famous Black American photographer, musician, writer and film director who became prominent in the U.S. documentary photojournalism in the 1940’s through 1970’s – particularly in issues of civil rights, poverty and African-Americans in addition to glamour photography. Lewis’s approach to his subject is also a central tenant in his life, “There is beauty in everything and every person, my job is to capture it for others to see. Treat the world [as your temple] with respect and love” His Creole/Haitian roots also ground the spiritual side of his work. In 2015, he launched his company entitled, BADJI, which literally translates into “Temple or Sanctuary,” in Haitian Creole. He credits four women his Mother, Aunt, Grandmother and Godmother as the foundation of his childhood aspirations and subsequent achievements. “They always told me I could do whatever I wanted.” When Lewis is not behind his camera, he works as a Supervisor at a Social Service agency in East Flatbush, Brooklyn that specializes in supporting clients with disabilities and mental health issues. His credentials include Licensed Vocational Nurse (L.V.N.) and a licensed Mental Health Technician (M.H.T.). Individuals interested in purchasing his work can find his photography company BADJI on Instagram and Facebook.