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Lisa Leone's Here I Am Captures 25 Years of Hip-Hop Through Photography

Ever since she was a teenager growing up in New York City, Lisa Leone has always had a camera in her hands.

"I started working in high school as an assistant to photographers," she recalls. "Now it's like second nature, like a part of my body."

Throughout her 25 year love affair with the lens, the New Yorker has seen it all. But one of the most significant moments the photographer has captured is the birth of hip-hop.

"It happened naturally," Leone fesses.

"I went to the High School of Art and Design, which was really the high school of graffiti and break dancing," she laughs. "A lot of graffiti artists and break dancers came out of that school. It was before people outside of New York City knew what breakdancing was."

"I was always more into documentary and street photography as opposed to a set up, so I would just document the world around me and take pictures of them 'cause they were my friends."

See also: The Field: Miami, a Documentary About Hip-Hop, Money, and the "Miami People Don't See"