Check with Jim Lennon the important to his achievement as a industrial and art photographer for more than 40 decades and the respond to is obvious: lights.
No matter if capturing a spectacular, supplying sky at the beach down the road from his dwelling in Flanders — wherever he has lived considering the fact that 1983 — or managing a 20-person crew on-area at Jones Seashore or Montauk for a countrywide advertisement marketing campaign, or making a product or service shot that makes you go, “I want that now,” Lennon is aware of the electrical power of lighting.
“Lighting is genuinely knowledge and being cozy in figuring out how to use and manipulate lighting and not remaining afraid to experiment,” claims Lennon. “One of the issues that I adore the most that people will say to me is that they do not consider I light-weight things … I light-weight all the things. And if I never have to light it, it’s since I’ve calculated when I have to be there for the ideal gentle.”
Lennon also has a terrific eye, has uncovered his craft and paid his dues — exuding an infectious passion for lifestyle, the atmosphere, his work and the collaborative approach with customers.
“I appreciate my work — I’m not a slave to it, but I’m constantly functioning … you established a focus on, you make it and together the way everyone receives thrilled about it,” he claims.
A self-explained “people person” who enjoys the landscape, Lennon has photographed hundreds of folks, destinations and merchandise, both equally in the studio and on-spot. His corporate customers and commercial perform range from portrait photography to significant promoting strategies on the regional and nationwide degree.
When COVID very first strike, he made use of the unfamiliar downtime to produce a breathtaking, self-released e-book of his own pictures titled The Shoreline, that includes 196 pages of coastal scenes he took alongside the shores from Manhattan to Montauk.
It is difficult to imagine Jim Lennon residing way too considerably from any shoreline.
Born in Oceanside, his household arrived out east when he was younger, 1st to a summer time household and then going to Flanders in 1978. Lennon claims he swiftly “gravitated to the men and women out here and the spot itself” thanks to newfound friendships that felt extra down-to-earth.
“We had h2o, we experienced beaches … you ended up authorized to roam within just the size of Rhode Island … horses, mini bikes, go-karts, bows and arrows, rifles — that variety of stuff didn’t even exist in Oceanside,” he provides.
It seems Lennon was often destined to report and maintain the exquisite moments.
“I gained a nationwide award from Kodak (for a landscape) in higher college in 1975, but who the heck believed you could make a dwelling at this?” says Lennon, who presently operates out of a 2,500-square-foot commercial studio in Hauppauge that he refers to as his imaginative “dream space.” This is now his fifth studio on Extensive Island.
Lennon still keeps the “fun minor Kodak 126 camera” that his dad gave him as a kid in his studio, recalling with fondness the pivotal day when his father introduced him to award-successful Day by day Information photographer Danny Farrell, well known for his shot of a youthful John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting at his father’s 1963 funeral.
“After I showed an fascination in images, my father had Danny consider me out on some assignments, and he taught me and gave me a minor bit of direction,” Lennon claims. Anything clicked.
“That’s when I assumed, ‘People can make a dwelling at this,’” Lennon recalls, with a smile in his voice. He submitted the considered absent.
When it came time for faculty, Lennon did the functional thing — enrolling at Adelphi University to examine accounting and organization administration. Ninety credits in, when it came time to choose an elective course, he obviously picked pictures. And the rest clicked, for true, into position.
“I was finding all the answers and the professor reported, ‘How does the accounting person know the answers?’ And I stated, ‘I go through the e book.’ And he claimed, ‘This is photography, no person reads the e-book.’ Then, when the person managing the lab there still left, the trainer said to the relaxation of the (images) department, ‘I bought a dude in my course, we should really employ the service of him. He read through the reserve.’ And that was it — there was no turning back. That was the starting of me performing total-time, given that 1977, only in photography.”
Lennon labored at Adelphi for a few a long time jogging the lab (he returned many many years later on to train state-of-the-art and studio photography there for 17 semesters). Immediately after a 12 months and a fifty percent stint as the characteristics photographer at The Suffolk Times, he commenced to acquire possibilities assisting friends who were being set up photographers in New York Metropolis.
He located himself working on substantial accounts like Seagram’s and the American Stock Trade, honing his technological craft as effectively as “learning by osmosis how to act and what clientele be expecting of you on a position.” It compensated off.
“When I received my 1st significant annual report out in this article by way of a rep all-around 1985, the North Fork Financial institution, it was a $15,000 occupation, which was massive back then,” Lennon suggests, adding, “I didn’t wait, I was ready.”
Nowadays, Jim Lennon looks as busy as he desires to be, concerning his commercial clientele and his own perform. We caught up with him by way of cellphone to talk about his craft, his new e-book and his suggestions to photographers starting up out.
Let us chat equipment: What do you use?
My cameras are Hasselblad and Nikon electronic cameras. I have some thing all around 50 electronic strobes in diverse configurations — battery, remote-operated studio methods. I have way much more lights than I need to have.
Lighting can intimidate folks. Why is it so vital?
Lights is a science. … Anything is about ratios and proportions and the moment you find out that, then the confidence of being aware of what to do with your tools type of settles in … and you know how to apply what you are great at. I convey to individuals, “If you are nervous on the job, you’re not completely ready to be on the occupation. You really do not want a nervous guy placing the brakes on your automobile. You never want to pull out and the person says, ‘I’m hoping they perform!’”
What is the professional landscape like these times?
We’ve turn into this sort of a visible modern society … photographs get applied a lot quicker, the new types faster and (my clients) need to have them to search a minor greater than the man or woman future door. I do a lot of solution photography and perform for dining establishments, and you can have genuinely good food stuff, but if you have crappy shots of fantastic foodstuff, it seems like crappy food items.
What varieties of jobs are you doing work on?
This previous thirty day period we obtained 5 new consumers — I really do not know how — and the vary is from rebranding a entire X-ray organization to these wraps that are heading to be on soda machines that are going to be throughout the state. A large amount of men and women I’m functioning for in this organization are turbo-charged to talk with persons, and so they are going to get as a lot mileage as they can in diverse mediums and places and spaces that can basically use visible.
Preferred positions? What do you adore to shoot most?
That’s so really hard to say. I really like the work that I do all the time, and it’s tough for me not to get psyched when my customers get psyched. I often adore photographing people today … it is all about character. And persons never get that character is way much more impressive than everything else in them. You seem at a photo of somebody — whether they are excellent hunting or not superior searching — and you consider to by yourself, “Man, I would actually love to get to know that person.”
Why did you self-publish The Shoreline?
I went to a few publishers whole, two of them obtained again to me and reported, “Yeah, we’re fascinated, but here’s what you’ve bought to do to transform it.” … They desired much more lighthouses, far more ducks — and I didn’t want to do that — so I just made a decision to self-publish it. And there is very little in it that I would transform.
I decided to target on just the coastline … I practically did it for myself. I’ve sold 450 framed and plexiglass-mounted prints (of The Shoreline photographs) to shoppers and commercial folks and assumed, “What a wonderful way to wrap up a concept … and (develop) a auto by which other people could see these pictures.”
Beloved places out east to shoot?
My community (Flanders) is unbelievable. I set out complete calendars just on my neighborhood. … The whole East Stop … it’s just stunning. Every single favored place that I’ve at any time had is almost certainly the past location that I truly located a excellent photograph in — and you locate them out listed here.
Suggestions for anyone getting into the organization?
Get very good prior to you do anything at all, and superior does not occur in a calendar year. You require to glance to and hear to the persons that can switch you down, due to the fact if they do not flip you down, then you’ve got anything. If they do switch you down, there’s a motive.
A good deal of folks will just consider to do stuff that appeases their close friends, builds their ego, gets a good deal of likes on Facebook, and if you are setting up out, the 1st point you have to do is seriously go to the men and women that are likely to shut you down if you are not carrying out — and you find out quickly.
What drives you? What do you really like the most about what you do?
I appreciate the landscape. … There are a dozen locations in my head that are normally close to where ever I am, and if I see light stuff setting up to take place, I know that I’m heading to gravitate to just one of all those areas at the end of the working day and get one thing there that is going to be various.
The factor I definitely uncover attention-grabbing about it is … you’re a preservationist. You get to history these things that are never ever heading to be in the same area in place or time, in that light once more, and you get to preserve them and help you save them and move them on.
Jim Lennon will be offering a converse about self-publishing The Shoreline in January at the Alex Ferrone Gallery (25425 Principal Street, Cutchogue). To see much more of his function, check out jimlennonphotography.com.