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June 4, 2015

How a Nomadic Flower Child Became NYC’s Best Hip-Hop Photographer

As a child, Brooklyn-based photographer Jessica Lehrman lived in a caravan, traveling across the states with her nomadic hippie parents, attending rainbow gatherings and nudist camps and listening mostly to classic rock (The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Cream, The Rolling Stones). Now 26, Lehrman still tours around the country, but with New York’s hip-hop artists instead of hippies, shooting intimate photos of the Beast Coast collective, and touring with the likes of Joey Bada$$, World’s Fair, Zombies, and The Underachievers.

Lehrman is the subject of the first episode of InFrame, a new mini-documentary series by Greenpoint-based Dutch filmmaker Bas Berkhout (best know for his viral passion project Like Knows Like). The series follows the meandering paths to success of photographers, artists, designers, and illustrators around the world, delving into their upbringings and creative processes. It turns the camera on those usually behind the camera, and in Lehrman’s case, reveals how tons of formal education and fancy art degrees aren’t as necessary as a resume-obsessed work culture wants you to think (Lehrman was homeschooled, then dropped out of SUNY Purchase).