I have always found inspiration from my family. My mother is a first-generation immigrant from the island of Trinidad, and my father is a retired paramedic and staunch union activist.

My grandfather, Waldo Frank, was a highly acclaimed Bolivarian scholar, author and the first western journalist invited to Havana, Cuba after the revolution in 1959.

I have always been fascinated by the politics of revolution and social injustice in the Americas. During my college years studying Journalism at San Francisco State University, I spent many semesters curiously roaming around Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba learning and sharing what I could.

In 2007 I headed out in my yellow '68 VW "baja bug" across Mexico towards Guatemala, inadvertently ending up in the middle of the drug war escalation and accompanying mobilization of the Mexican Army to fight the cartels. I spent my weekend nights riding graveyard shifts on ambulances in the slums of Mexico City with my Leica. The work, La Guerra Mexicana, was my first big break and I learned it had been recognized by the NPPA while battling salmonella poisoning on a friends couch in Oaxaca. After that, I worked for The Wall Street Journal from Mexico City.

In 2010 I finished Downstream, Death of the Colorado. It was the first time I proved to myself that I could conceive a project from beginning to end and when it was purchased by the United States Library of Congress in 2011, I thought somebody had made a mistake.

It took me 2 years to recover emotionally after completing Downstream. In that time I stayed close to my family in San Francisco and worked on assignments in the Bay Area.

With the help of colleagues, I got back on the road in 2012, this time on my Harley. I started American Dreamscape, which reminded me of my passion for photography and storytelling.

After refinding my love of visual storytelling I was awarded a fellowship with the Catchlight Foundation to continue work across marginalized communities of color, documenting the effects of mass incarceration in partnership with The Marshall Project.  

It is this re-found passion that I strive to bring to my work as a father and educator while continuing to invest in long-form personal projects, most recently with National Geographic, on migration and labor primarily in the Southwest and Mexico.



phone: USA (+1) 415-218-1238

current location: San Francisco, Bay Area

languages: English, Spanish

instagram: @brianlfrank