Ricky Flores was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents in 1961. His father, Pastor Flores, was a merchant seaman, and his mother, Ana Luisa Flores, a garment worker, lived in the Tremont section of the Bronx during the early 60s. Flores’ father died in 1965 from bronchial asthma and his mother moved the family to the Longwood section of the Bronx, where he was raised.
Flores started documenting life in the South Bronx after he purchased a camera with a small inheritance left by his father in 1979. He started photographing the lives of his friends and family during one of the most turbulent times in the history of the Bronx and New York City.
Over the years, Flores freelanced for The Daily News, The New York Times, The City Sun, and The Village Voice. He was a photojournalist for The Journal News, part of the USAToday Network for 25 years. Flores was recognized for covering the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and is a three-time winner of the New York Press Publishers Award for Spot News for 9/11, Amadou Diallo, and Superstorm Sandy. Flores has a permanent installation at I.S. 306 in the Tremont section of the Bronx commissioned by the School Construction Authority, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York City Board of Education. His work from the South Bronx is on permanent display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
He currently works at Lehman College where he teaches photojournalism.