Louise Francis-Smith was born and raised in New Zealand. She travelled to Canada in the 1970s and, after spending two years studying at the Banff Centre, made Vancouver her home. Over the past few years she has focused her lens on Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside, capturing their perpetual physical transformation. Her photographs reflect layers of physical, economic, and social undercurrents. She has always been interested in the human condition, drawn to the landscape and how we live in it, and attracted to those photographers who are concerned with the social fabric and looking below the surface.
As a child, she remembers looking at photographic books that her father produced and, like him, she began photographing the landscape of the rural area she lived in at an early age. She has always been interested in places that are in transition and hold history.
Francis-Smith spent two years at the Vancouver School of Art and a year at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. In Vancouver, she has exhibited at the Chinese Cultural Museum, the Vancouver Museum, the Gam Gallery, East Van Studios, and Centre A, in addition to internationally.
Louise Francis-Smith feels fortunate that she is able to pursue camera as companion, capturing the ongoing moments of life with all its beauty, difficulties, wonder, and sadness.