Lauri Lyons was born in the Bronx, New York. She earned a BFA for Media Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1993. From 1993 to 1998, Lyons worked as a Photo Editor and for Magnum Photos, The Source, B.E.T, and Essence magazine. During that time she also worked as a photo assistant for Magnum photographers Bruce Davidson and David Alan Harvey.
Lauri Lyons has photographed essays in Brazil, Europe, Mexico, West Africa, and the United States. In 2003 Lauri Lyons became the first Black woman to shoot the cover of Fortune magazine. She also became the first Black female photographer to be signed to Getty Images in 2006.
Lauri Lyons has served as a faculty member for the International Center of Photography and the Rhode Island School of Design.
Her exhibition resume includes The Brooklyn Museum of Art
and The Museum of Civil Rights.
Flag: An American Story is her first published monograph (2001).
Flag International is her most recent book and film (2008).