Saturday, May 30, 2009


Here it is:
I picked up a copy of your magazine at the DUMBO photo fest this afternoon.  I read it on the train going home.  I was very impressed.  On the front cover there's a price of ten dollars.  Is that how much you charge people for the magazine? Or is that how much you pay people to read it?  Cause I read the whole thing and want to know where I can go to collect my ten dollars.  I never read such drivel.  And the photographs in the magazine, well, what can I say.......... drek.
— Hasifleur Wagibigit

fair enough I'd say - yet it has been very strange seeing the really angry responses that I got personally... for what really is a valid effort at presenting a fun, original and different look at a part of the NYC photography scene... perhaps it is right in the end that negative attention is still attention. In the spirit of punk — it seems right! I mean, this wildly named person will probably not forget the LENSJOCKEY name! And if you want to see for yourself how awful my magazine is, you can see it at St. Mark's Bookshop in NYC and at McNally Jackson Booksellers!

I told my friend Steve in Texas about this letter and he immediately said that the name was made up hahah. I love that someone hid their name while writing me this. That's a pretty good one, I never thought of that. I guess it would also have to be someone who sortof knows French, some sort of European something... a worldly wit of some sort. The truth is though, that if someone wants to make up a name to tell me they think my magazine is bogus, or too expensive, with such silly (and rather unseeing) venom, well, I still have to think that no matter what, they know I'm doing something, they will always be able to change their minds later. Because it is not just about that 2nd Issue of LENSJOCKEY. People really did think punk was awful when they were confronted with it. That's a real effect. Just looking at my magazine as an experiment, I feel like it is a success.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


You can't start a magazine without really trying to define your content. Looking towards the third issue of LENSJOCKEY, I am struck by how different my view of the photography scene is. I mean really, where IS the punk rock photography magazine? I mean punk rock in the profound way, maybe not so much underground as just such a different viewpoint, and not even mad... just fucking punk rock.

I didn't see it at the NY Photo Festival. I was concerned alot with getting my own ideas out, but even while I was doing that I had to see what was out there around there... and nothing caught my eye... and my eyes are sortof trained to look for that now because of what I am doing myself.

To me, punk was raw, imperfect, noisy, human, shiny, dirty, cheap, colorful, and said fuck alot. I of course have not seen attempts at this sort of a magazine, one reason being that I have been spending so much time working on my own, which is isolating. But I did go to the NY Photo Festival this year and I didn't see anyone else's ideas about photography were like mine. I just didn't. At all. Great design is really important in the photography world, I guess to a certain point it has to be - like expensive clothes, but I don't see a jamming sensibility. Is it out there? I will look again, while content becomes an issue for my own magazine.
I want to find the stars. I have always loved finding a star to focus on before they become bigger. I'm sure alot of people are like that, gallery owners for one instance, but really, why is there not a magazine that focuses on photographers more like stars? Them in front, illustrated by their pictures, you know, like you don't hear songs in Rolling Stone. Something in relation to that idea. that you've seen the pictures, you know, maybe, but not seen who the person is, it's a fine balance maybe, hey for me this is an experiment about an idea.

When I would be handing out my magazine, and talking to others I noticed that there was always — with everyone — a genuine surprise at what I would say to them. And what I would say to them was "Rolling Stone for photographers" — that's how I would start talking with most people I met. Just as a response, the way that I would get genuine surprise mixed with an involuntary sort of a "noone has ever put those two things together but it sounds like something" means something to me. It was like I was testing a switch at the festival. That was a particular interest of mine there, to test that psychological recognition switch with alot of people. I needed some feedback that was exclusive of what others thought of me. Something independent of personal issues and biases, or as close to that as I could get. Knowing my own limits too, and being honest about my own biases, like who I felt comfortable addressing, all sorts of things. I even got some really super negative reactions - that is all I can call them. For instance, one person came up to a friend of mine, another photographer who was handing out some copies - and made a huge point of saying he thought he'd just throw it out, like, right in front of her, in her face. As an insult, really too aggressively. He wanted her to know exactly how stupid and worthless it was. It's a fucking magazine. Why so angry about a magazine called LENSJOCKEY that has been given out free? I guess you can't ask for your money back since it was free. So being insulting about throwing it away is the only alternative left for an enraged recipient of a free publication. 

The responses just made me think that truly, having a magazine that attempts to follow a model like Rolling Stone, having a personality focus for a photography magazine, is really a new idea. That's what I saw on the faces and the responses I got. The third issue? 

What is the content that I feel worth backing up in print? What WOULD a Rolling Stone for photographers look like? I am trying to accomplish this idea. I know that I made a first impression on many, good or bad. the name recognition has to be there — for more than a few people who attended the NY Photo Festival this year the name LENSJOCKEY is out there in it's own imperfect way — what will I do with Issue #3?

Friday, May 22, 2009


By Holly Van Voast

Boy am I burned out. What a week!

Issue 2 of LENSJOCKEY magazine was about struggle and love and pictures and people — photographers. At The NY Photo Festival 2009 — just last week! I got reactions ranging from disgust and meanness to genuine feeling and encouragement. All those things came from the same group. (And some of the genuine feeling and encouragement came from the top — William A. Ewing — just sayin.). I met people who listened and people who didn’t. I saw my nightmare and my triumphs. I triumphed over the fear of putting myself and my own ideas out there in front of the hip tough crowd of New York City photographers.

I’ve done it before. 

When I went to the racetracks in 2002, and started my seven year involvement shooting candid portraits of the jockeys riding in New York City, I had no idea what it would really lead to. And that crowd is a tough crowd too, that was good training. I went to the tracks cold, just like I did to the NY Photo Festival in 2009, seven years later. Cold and unknown, and not looking like much to so many. I really went from jockeys to lensjockeys — really. 

If I don’t tell this story, it won’t get told.

These are the pictures I took of those jockeys — 

Edgar Prado

I saw them in a way that was exclusive of the horses they rode. 

One of my favorite portraits of Norberto Arroyo Jr.

Over seven years I collected a group of portraits that were never-before taken of the men who I loved who rode the horses at 35 mph, and exploded from big metal banging gates on those horses in search of a win. 

Norberto is back -

There’s a TV show now, and the races get alittle more press these days, but when I started going, it was a ghosttown of a world, totally forgotten and insulated from the city around it. Totally.

It was sort of like robbing a bank

God, I loved jockeys. 

OMG Alan Garcia

I’d go to Aqueduct racetrack – sometimes on both weekend days — a 2 hour ride on the subway at least — just for one or two shots for a high. 

Pablo Morales lounging - or is it Jesus Ponce? dammit! I don't recognise either enough yet.

I never bet on the horses… 

Mr. Eibar Coa, on the first day of the 100th anniversary of Belmont Racetrack - NYC

I bet on jockeys — I thought they deserved way more attention than they got.

I still do. I can't shoot as much there as I used to — the magazine work takes up so much time and I got involved with a completely different scene for a time, but there are more and more people shooting jockeys now. Raymond Haddad — who shot the author photo for the second issue of LENSJOCKEY #2, was a friend of mine when we worked together at BMG/Columbia House - years ago, and he started to see what I did with the jockeys then. He saw a book I wrote, he read what I wrote online and off about the jockeys that I loved, the ones that I portrayed — and he saw my pictures. He loved my pictures. He can shoot there now more than I can, and that hurts, but he has become known in his own way for doing what I started in 2002. I see people shooting from the spots that I shot from, places where no professional would want to shoot from... now it is common, when I did it, I had it all to myself. I really felt like I had it all to myself. I have a priceless collection of men who rode from a time that doesn't exist anymore at all. I have the best collection of Norberto Arroyo Jr. portraits, a great collection of Edgar Prado portraits — John Velazquez, Pablo Fragoso, Alan Garcia, Mike Luzzi, Channing Hill — it seemed like such a golden time to me.

Alan Garcia - unfuckingstoppable

This is a picture I took of Alan Garcia in 2005 where he rode in a stakes race — The Gotham — at Aqueduct. He rode most of the race with his right foot completely out of the stirrup. That's what a jockey means to me. Just bombing down the track even if your foot is out of the stirrup. He almost won that race. It was pretty spectacular. he wasn't winning the race here though, I just wanted to shoot him because he was in the Paraneck Stables silks and he was a favorite jockey of mine. If that is the only racing shot I ever get, that would make me happy.

And that's how I feel about LENSJOCKEY magazine. I'm riding with one foot out of the stirrup and I might not win, but that is how I'm riding my life.

you can see my collection of jockey portraits on flickr:
and even earlier pictures: —scroll down to the bottom! To the album titled 
"The Woodless Wood Day" I posted my portraits there for years before going on flickr. It's disorganized, but those pictures are to me the soul of the start of interest in jockeys exclusively, there was nothing like that, noone had ever followed these men with a camera like me. I feel so lucky to have shot what I got at all the tracks I shot at. It is in the spirit of jockeys that I conceived of LENSJOCKEY magazine. Truly.

I started something at the tracks just focusing on jockeys, and I want to start something now with the photographers I see in New York City now. It's the same thing for me. Eric Brown is just like a jockey to me. He just uses a camera. btw - he's about to enter a contest in Alaska with his spectacular mutton chop sideburns. Good luck Eric!

Yosemite Brown

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NY PHOTO FESTIVAL - the experience!

I went with my newly printed magazines every day of the festival.

Imagine yourself dragging a handcart with the second issue of your magazine. You look like a cross between Johnny Thunders, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan — you know, just imagine you don't look pretty. Anyway, you have all these copies of your magazine that you know you have to make some sort of an impression with. You just have to.

I doubt that you and a handcart with a cardboard box bungeed to it are what you'd be advised to use if you want to make an impression with your magazines. You have to give up the cool. 
So I gave up the cool and got real and just walked the streets and stood outside the talks and walked the fuck up to strangers and gave the magazines away.

I met Martha Cooper — so unassuming and gracious, I met Eugene Richards, again, unassuming and gracious. Lauren Greenfield, Andrew Hetherington, Daniel Power, Frank Evers... everyone so devoted to one thing, photography.

William A. Ewing mentioned me - or at least what I was doing - in a talk he gave. (I didn't hear that, two separate people who were there at the talk told me when they happened upon me. But it was about the American spirit or something) He mentioned to me how smart I was, once when I was standing outside of a talk at the festival — he told me to hand out my magazines to people as they came out of the talk. If I had memoirs, this experience would be in there, no doubt.

btw - It was really profound watching Daniel Power's brave humility in the face of the publishing world's awful turn away from photography books and the powerHouse move to go into custom publishing. It's kindof sickening that photography book can be on a bookstore shelf for only 90 days, that is nothing. I love powerHouse books, I love their vision of photography, and New York City. That was the overwhelming feeling in the Festival for me, how crappy this anti-book thing is. I was proud to be trying to make a printed magazine work. Fuck that shit. A world without books and magazines? That's just wrong. We are moving in the wrong direction with that. 

I wanted my magazine everywhere I was able to put it. Every day I spent taking my magazines around was an adventure in being completely out of my comfort zone! Just the raw experience of interacting with others in such a mind-blowing manner — look, it's like being both a beggar and a salesman — and it was wild.

I gave away approximately 400 magazines to so many different people - it is the most incredible event I have ever been to, full of such vibrant visionaries.

Friday, May 8, 2009


see below!


During the Festival's day and night activities, I will have copies of the magazine - for attendees of the festival the magazine will be FREE!

LENSJOCKEY MAGAZINE is full color representation of the exploding NYC photography scene. this is about you by me.

you can also get it at St. Mark's Bookshop after the 16th of May.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Obama Inauguration - Harlem NYC

Jim Kiernan covered the Harlem NYC reaction to the Barack Obama Inauguration. I kindof wish that Obama would wear Cazals.

Tub Cat - by Sarah K. Andrew

Tub Cat
Originally uploaded by Rock and Racehorses
"Bryan likes to hide behind the shower curtain in the bathroom and peek out as I brush my teeth.

He also likes to meow in the bathroom- perhaps he's checking the acoustics."

Indeed. Sarah shoots way more than cats, but her portrait of her cat Bryan is one of my faves because of the hypnotizing quality of his expression paired with the minimalist bathroom elements.

¡ Happy Cinco De Mayo ! says Raymond Haddad

Raymond has a special way of looking at the city through his portraits. Looking at his pictures I often think of them as advertising for the city.

Leanne Staples's fire escape to heaven

This is one of my favorite buildings in the city. Leanne shoots buildings and clouds like noone I have ever seen.

Self Portrait of Eric Brown

Originally uploaded by dogseat
Eric never ceases to surprise and amaze me. he took this picture recently, and I think it is beautiful. Dewd, the chops never looked so romantically grand.
I think you had better follow him!

see him in LENSJOCKEY!


I had to write a new post because the text editing window would not let me edit my text sizes and colors right. Don't know why.

LENSJOCKEY 2 is all about the photographers that I admire here in NYC.
There's Bob Gruen, Jim Kiernan, Leanne Staples, Dana Dunham, Eric Brown, Sarah K. Andrew, and Raymond Haddad.
It's a collection of photographers that I love.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 KIERNAN!

The first ever cover lensjockey. Read about him in the second issue of LENSJOCKEY.

He's competitive, fast, he reminds me of the actual NYC jockeys I shot portraits of for 7 years. He talks like a jockey, he shoots like a jockey — position!, he moves like a jockey. He is the most jockeylike of any lensjockeys I have seen yet. He HAD to be on the cover. I even had a contest to find a cover feature photographer for the magazine. I still want to do that, but the first contest was held just about when I met Jim. And he stole the fucking cover scene.

Other lensjockeys included in ISSUE 2 of LENSJOCKEY are:

Leanne Staples - - she takes such exquisite architectural shots, really personifies them, and clouds also - awesome cloud shots.


the best photographers in the world, in the best city in the world. no contest. no-brainer.

get LENSJOCKEY MAGAZINE at St. Mark's Bookshop in NYC after the 16th of May -

I'm planning on getting them some copies about then, the magazine will be shipped next week. I'm a publisher-er-er.

LENSJOCKEY is all color, great pictures, my writing and interviews.


It's Tuesday, it's the morning, I'm alittle chilly because I have the window open and it's right next to my bed.

I am awaiting the delivery of a box containing the second issue of LENSJOCKEY. Now, it's on to promotion. EW! Truly though, it is an honor for me to start promoting online what I publish in LENSJOCKEY, the first ever magazine devoted to the stars (as I see them) of the awesomely awesome photographer scene in NYC right now.