Neil O. Lawner’s interest in photography began when he served in the Air Force on Guam from 1966-1968. During that time, Japanese cameras such as Nikon and Pentax were being manufactured and were available at the Base Exchange. He soon became part of the Kodachrome generation and learned the basics of operating a SLR (single lens reflex) camera.
Some of his work was noticed by a gallery owner in New Brunswick who provided artwork to some of the big pharmaceutical corporations in NJ. The gallery sold many of his black and white images to these companies over the years, and this orthodontist soon would make a switch in careers to fulltime photographer. Fifteen years ago, when he moved to New York City, he began to capture colorful images of people, culminating in his first self-published book, Coney Island, Merriment, Mermaids and Memories in 2019, followed by a second book, Masked in Manhattan, images of people going about their daily lives in the city during the pandemic. Neil joined Soho Photo Gallery on White Street in Tribeca and exhibits there on a regular basis.