Sam Comen was born and raised in Los Angeles where he now shoots commercial and documentary projects. His work has been recognized by Communication Arts, American Photography, Photo District News, The Center for Documentary Studies, and the Santa Fe Center for Photography.
In his documentary work, Sam shoots environmental portrait essays in locales salient in the American collective consciousness. These essays engage with each site’s established historical narrative, creating anthropological documents of place and social phenomenon. Most recently he has brought this approach to California’s Central Valley in Lost Hills; and to Central Avenue, the historic core of South-Central Los Angeles in Central Avenue: A Community Album. Sense of place is critical in his work: accordingly, his native Los Angeles has played a major role in his pictures throughout his career. Sam’s commercial practice has played a vital role too: he actively transposes the visual motifs in his commissioned photographs to his site-specific documentary work, bringing a consistent quality of light and composition to all his projects, portraying each person he shoots with honor, dignity, and a sympathetic gaze.