Photo Credit: Inside Photodom Photo Courtesy of Dominick Lewis, Owner, Photodom
Black-Owned Camera Shop Owner Is Documenting Brooklyn Before It Changes For Good
Dominick Lewis is the owner of Photodom: what he says is the first Black-owned camera shop in Brooklyn.
Photodom started as an online photography shop in 2015, but thanks to the outpouring of love from his supporters, Lewis opened the brick-and-mortar in the fall of 2020 after raising money through GoFundMe.
“I’ve spent the past 4 months documenting New York City’s Black Lives Matter protests,” he stated. “It is abundantly clear that we must give Black image-makers and Brooklyn’s remaining Black neighborhoods the ability to control our own stories, instill knowledge, and educate the next generation of storytellers, historians, and artists.
For Lewis, the shop represents so much more than his passion for photography. Photodom also represents a profound love for his community, and with the shop, he plans to document what’s left of the city he loves before time runs out.
“Brooklyn is changing,” he told Travel Noire in an interview. “People in the neighborhood are changing; people are being kicked out of their homes because of the rising rent costs, there are a lot of empty lots; high-rise buildings are constantly being constructed.”
In New York City, there have been undeniable shifts in the composition of residents in many neighborhoods, brought on mainly by new development. But the five neighborhoods with the largest increase in White residents accompanied by a decrease in residents of another racial or ethnic group are all found in Brooklyn, The Center For New York City Affairs reports.
Between 2000 and 2010, Brooklyn neighborhoods Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Park Slope and Gowanus, and Crown Heights North saw an increase of between 6,700 and 15,600 White residents, paired with a simultaneous decrease in Black and Latino residents.
Lewis said gentrification was neither good or bad but he wishes it was equal.
It’s no secret that the neighborhood is changing, and before it transforms forever, Lewis is using Photodom as a safe space for both image makers and Brooklyn-natives.
“It’s for historical purposes,” he said. “It’s important to me because if I don’t do it then who will?”