Len, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. (How old are you, Where were you born and where do you live now, What is your profession and do you have other besides photography?
I was born in September,1960. I was born in Atlantic City ,New Jersey. I currently reside in Linwood NJ. I am an equipment operator at a water treatment plant. I love travel, of course photography is always a big part of my travels.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
I always have painted and drawn since I was a little child.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
My parents were wonderful and always encouraged me, even with six brothers and sisters. I bought my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, when I was 15. Shooting family and friends was my initial idea, I have always been a lover of nature, but nature photos were laughably terrible on that little camera. I saved up enough money and bought a little Pentax ME and a 50mm lens. I loved that little camera. Within six months I saved enough to buy a 200 mm off brand lens. That started me on way to nature photography.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in photography?
I have always wanted to capture what I was seeing. Whether drawing or with a camera.
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started? what is your favorite lens?
I have used Nikon since I bought my first one,a battered old Nikon FE, from a newpaper photog.
My current cameras area Nikon D4s, a D700 and aD800. I am in LOVE with theD4s, the greatest camera I've ever used. My favorite lens is the 85 mm 1.4. So sharp its scary. Just a magnificent piece of glass.
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point until you showcase the developed picture?
My process is a little strange. Unless I know a model and have worked with her before, I show up with no expectations and just some ideas simmering in my mind. I find that a model has a certain aura. I try to catch, what I think the vibe is, that the model gives off. I want my photos to be simple and clean. I hope, that this gets conveyed in my photos. I just love that feeling in a photo.
Do you see a particular influence, be it a photographer or school on your work? Any subject that attracts you?
Photographers I feel influence me or that I would love to emulate, are Edward Weston, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Herb Ritts.
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
I would say my favorite works would be the last batch I shot. sometimes you get some work you're not happy with, but I feel like I'm always moving forward. That's a very powerful feeling.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward photography story.
Funny story,hmm, I was shooting my first models for a small local magazine, using a Rollieflex .
I was shooting away, lots of great shots until I realized I was getting more than 12 shots out of the roll. The film had slipped off the advance spindle. I had to act like I was reloading new film and try to get the great shots I missed. Thank God for digital!
What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to start?
My advice to anyone starting out, hone your craft, know the basics and don't count on Photoshop or other programs to save your shots. Don't be afraid to take chances of to fail.