About Photo Friends

Boys posing along Echo Park Avenue, 1984. Photo by Gary Leonard. From the L.A. Neighborhoods Project sponsored by Photo Friends.

Boys posing along Echo Park Avenue, 1984. Photo by Gary Leonard. From the L.A. Neighborhoods Project sponsored by Photo Friends.

Photos capture, convey, reflect, inspire, document, hide, reveal — who we are, how we got here, what makes us human.

The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) has an extraordinary collection of millions of photographs that tell the countless stories of this great city and its people.

The Library’s Photo Collection focuses on the history of Los Angeles and dates from the 1880s to the present. It includes images from the historic Security Pacific National Bank collection and the photo morgues of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and Valley Times newspapers. Over 109,000 photos are available on the Library’s website, along with instructions for ordering, and a list of reproduction and usage fees.

Formed in 1990, Photo Friends is a nonprofit organization that supports the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photograph Collection and History & Genealogy Department. Our goal is to improve access to the collections and promote them through programs, projects, and exhibits.

We’re an enthusiastic group of photographers, writers, historians, business people, politicians, academics, and many others, all bonded by our passion for photography, history, and Los Angeles. Join us!

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Photo Friends Board of Directors

Amy Inouye, President of Photo Friends, is a graphic designer specializing in books about Los Angeles. She is “mom” to Chicken Boy, the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles.

Kim Creighton is a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library and oversees the cataloging of the library’s Photo Collection. A Southern California native with a professional background in archives and local history, she wrote Mt. Baldy, published by Arcadia Publishing, in 2008.

David Davis served as the curator for “Play by Play: A Century of L. A. Sports Photography, 1889-1989,” an exhibit at the Los Angeles Central Library in 2004-05. (A companion book was published by Angel City Press.) An award-winning journalist who is currently a contributing writer at Los Angeles Magazine, LAObserved.com, and “SportsLetter,” Davis lives in Highland Park.

Kathy Kobayashi is a third-generation Japanese American from Texas who has lived in Southern California for almost 30 years. With a background in American social history, she has been a historical consultant with a particular interest in Los Angeles. She was project historian for the Shades of L. A. project, co-author (with Carolyn Kozo Cole) of the Shades of L. A. book, and co-chair of the L. A. Neighborhoods project.

J. Eric Lynxwiler is a Southern California native and the co-author of Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles and Knott’s Preserved: From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott’s Berry Farm. As an urban anthropologist, he leads tours for the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and guides the Museum of Neon Art’s nighttime Neon Cruises.

Tom Meyer is an accomplished Los Angeles photographer.

Cindy Olnick is communications director for the Los Angeles Conservancy, a historic preservation organization serving all of L.A. County. She has written about preservation for publications including Looking at Los Angeles, CA-Modern, and LA Architect.

Joan Renner is a social historian and writer with a particular interest in crime. She is currently organizing a collection of Daily Bulletins for the Los Angeles Police Historical Society. She is a guide for Esotouric, a company specializing in off-beat tours of Los Angeles. In 2010 she will appear in the Turner Classic Movies “Film Fanatics” series, and in the ID Discovery Channel’s series “Deadly Women.”

Tom Zimmerman is a photographer and Los Angeles native. His photography and prose have been widely published, and his work resides in a number of permanent museum collections. His books include Paradise Promoted: The Selling of Los Angeles 1870-1930, A Day in the Season of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Wednesday at the Pier.

Library Liaison, Christina Rice, is the Senior Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California State University, Fullerton and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. She is the author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel (University Press of Kentucky, 2013) and multiple issues of the My Little Pony comic book series (IDW Publishing).