Lance Shields was born in 1969 in Puerto Rico and was raised in the mountains of San Diego, CA. While growing up in the small town of Julian, CA he was introduced to film photography by his science teacher and he became a kid photographer for a local youth newspaper. Later in high school, he was the school yearbook photographer and spent countless hours in the school darkroom.

Lance later went to fine art school, studying installation art at San Francisco Art Institute. After graduating in 1992, he followed his college crush back to her hometown Osaka, Japan. He set up a black and white darkroom in a tiny one-bedroom apartment above a fish shop and produced photos of his first Japanese experiences.

After marrying and starting a family in Osaka, he pursued a career as an artist having exhibitions in Osaka. His art took a turn in the late 1990s when he discovered the web and began creating net art, often incorporating his photography. This soon turned into a digital design career and he moved back to San Francisco to work during the Dotcom. He continued his photography off and on over the next 20 years as a digital photographer.

Thirty-five years after his first experiments with a film camera, in 2020 he made the decision to return to film photography again, while also shooting digital. He chooses to photograph the details of everyday life and sees himself as an art photographer not focused on a particular genre of photography.

Lance lives in San Francisco with his wife and dog. He has two kids in grad school and college, a son doing a master’s in conducting in NYC and a daughter beginning a BA in acting in LA. He works as a design director at Adobe, leading design teams for Adobe Express. He is also passionate about surfing, travel, and exploring the west coast by van.

You can follow Lance on Instagram.

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