Leah Frances is the eye behind American Squares, an Instagram photography project that documents American cultural relics, iconography and identity. American Squares has over 20,000 followers and was recently mentioned by T, The New York Times Style Magazine, in their “Five to Follow” series. Frances’ work has been published by The New York Times Magazine, Us of America Magazine, the SFMoMa blog, Format Magazine, Feature Shoot, frankie magazine, Hemispheres Magazine and more and has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
As a Canadian-born photographer raised on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, her early proximity to the United States along with a steady diet of mid-century American cinema instilled in her a fascination for commonly-held concepts of “Americanness.” Now living in Pennsylvania, Frances carries a deep interest in identity—its roots, and its perceptions within a culture and across time. Photography, as her vehicle through this exploration, allows her to focus on small, striking moments and to create images that carry a persistent, quiet optimism. An invisible immigrant, she uses her lens to capture relics, icons, and traces of cultural identity as a means of engaging in the distance between these ideas and the reality of daily life. Frances unearths a certain tenderness in our present by deconstructing idyllic notions of America’s past.