Customer Spotlight – Leo Collins

Welcome to our twelfth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media.  

Leo Collins is our customer spotlight for the month of March – April. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. Below you will find a word from Leo, followed by some of his images in the gallery below.

Leo F. Collins, a River Edge resident, has held senior executive corporate positions at leading Aerospace and Technology firms for over 50 years.  

He now consults to technology start up firms throughout the tri-state area.  He serves on the Technology Advisory Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Agency and is active in many different roles as an alumnus at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Photography has always been a passion for Leo starting with his help in forming a Photography Club in high school.  The passion has provided him with the opportunity to capture extraordinary images in many different settings from living and extensive travel all over the world.  An important role in recent years is photographing the Bergen County Police Pipes and Drums. Also, a major part of his work involves photographing the gardens in Vermont developed by his good friend Dr. Robert Forte and FDU basketball .

A major stimulus for Leo has been the guidance, encouragement and support provided by Bergen County Camera in Westwood.  Paul Carretta, Bob and Tom Gramegna and staff have embedded in Leo a love of photography that encourages him  to take on new and important challenges all designed to make you a better photographer. – Bergen Camera creates opportunity to improve your skills-  and Leo is very thankful the interaction with Bergen Camera has become  an important part of his life with new friendships and providing increased confidence that you have  the Bergen team with you as you face new photographic adventures. The support, encouragement and friendship provided by the Bergen County Camera organization is of immeasurable value and never to be forgotten.

I am very thankful of  having Bergen Camera a part of my life and for this recognition . I certainly am striving to be a better photographer and still have a long way to go but have with the BCC association the support and assurance to achieve that goal.

 I tell my stories in photography- In doing so I fulfilled one of my important dreams. I have much to be thankful for.

 

I thought it would be interesting, to tell a brief story through my photography  related to the  tragic day of September 11th, 2001.

The photos displayed were taken from the New York Waterway’s vessel, Yankee Clipper in the company of my daughter, Lisa O’Keefe and grand daughter Katharine  O’Keefe, en-route to a New York Yankees Game .

It was a beautiful Friday evening  in September, and I was enjoying the joy  of being with family while taking in  the beautiful view of our national treasures  here in our magnificent city.  I was fortunate to capture some great photos of the World Trade Center and sailboats on the Hudson.

 I took many photos that evening, but one sailboat grabbed my attention, and  I took a photo of it with the Towers in the background.   I noticed the USCG  sailboat number  and  able to trace its ownership,  I found out it was a retired U.S. Navy racer named Grilla.

I shared the photo with its owner, as it was a photo taken on the Friday evening of September 7th, 2001, four days before our peace and joy

were shattered, to never be the same again.

And now rising  majestically is the Freedom Tower in honor of those lost that faithful day and displayed  here in a photograph taken  on a quiet Sunday morning in the spring  from the grounds of Castle  Point at Stevens  Institute of Technology.

Views  that will never grow old and stay in our memories forever.

   

 

Leo F. Collins   February , 2018

Customer Spotlight – Greg Koch

 

Welcome to our eleventh Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media.  

Greg Koch is our customer spotlight for the month of February. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. Below you will find a word from Greg, followed by some of his images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from Greg Koch: 

 

Growing up in New Jersey, I have always been passionate about the outdoors.  I spent countless hours as a kid exploring the woods in my family’s backyard, and even more time hiking and fishing in the Adirondack Mountains.  My love of the outdoors can often be seen in the images I create.

 

I received my first camera when I was a freshman in high school.  It was my Mom’s 35mm Cannon AE-1 Program, and an exceptional camera with which to learn the basics of photography.  Using film and being limited to 36 shots really taught me the importance of slowing down to make sure everything was in frame exactly how I wanted it to be before taking the shot.

 

In college I made the switch to digital photography and spent some time living in Florence, Italy where I continued to study photography.  After graduating college, I worked in various financial roles in New York City while pursuing photography as a hobby.  I now work full-time as a photographer in the Northeast, and I am always available to travel! 

 

The work I am currently doing includes capturing the fly-fishing scene in the Northeast, landscapes from my travels, engagement and wedding proposals, and portraits of people I meet along the way.  When not working, I can be found fishing, hiking, hunting, camping and snowboarding.

  

Bergen County Camera has been extremely beneficial over the years, whether it be answering the many questions I have about a lens before purchasing it, or having a 24×36 photograph printed and framed on short notice, BCC has always been there to help me out.  Every person I’ve worked with at BCC has been extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about photography.  Over the years I’ve built a great relationship with both Bob and Jeremy, who offer some of the best customer support imaginable.  When making a large purchase like a new lens, it’s great to be able to sit and chat with them about the product and leave the store knowing I made a great choice.  I cannot imagine going anywhere else for my photography needs.

For more of Greg’s work, check out his instagram at @gregkkoch

Customer Spotlight – Father Anthony Falsarella

 

Welcome to our tenth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Anthony Falsarella is this month’s customer profile.

Please enjoy a few of Anthony’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from Anthony Falsarella: 

Hi, my name is Anthony Falsarella, and I am a fan and customer of BCC. Photography has been a part of my life since I was about 10 when a second-hand Kodak Brownie box camera was given to me to use in order to occupy my summer time. I enjoyed capturing various things and would spend my weekly allowance on film developing and film. I did not get my own camera until I graduated high school, and that was a Canon Canodate rangefinder camera which I still have and use. Jumping forward into the digital photo age came upon me a bit late and I got involved with it in my regular work as a priest and monastic. My specialty is low-light religious art reproduction either for publication and web use or to document a piece for restorative and conservation purposes. I have done work both in the US and abroad in countries like France, Belgium, Poland, and Belarus to name just a few. I do other things for personal enjoyment so I like to think that most niches I can feel comfortable with.

Now you may wonder why I am a fan and customer of BCC, most times having to make a 125-mile round trip to get back and forth to BCC? The answer is quite simple, customer service and the staff’s dedication to making you a better photographer. BCC has among other things has reignited my passion for the printed photo, which to me is very important. Digital photos are nice, but when the file is printed much more comes out. One of the Canon specials that Paul announced after one Focus Session made me decide to upgrade from my old Epson photo printer. Now I have my own fine art printing lab at my disposal and those special prints are made on that using digital fine art papers.

The outings and educational emphasis of BCC to help make all customers better photographers is for me paramount of coming all the way to this store. Networking with other photographers, gaining that one nugget with each encounter that sheds light on improving your craft, and learning from each other. The staff and all the Saturday morning friends help make this easy.

Each year for the past several years, I have had a series of “photography” resolutions for the new year. These resolutions are more like goals. This past year, all my goals or resolutions were met in part of or with the help of BCC and its friends. I have a series of new ones I just started with, one being more involved with film or analog photography in the coming year. I am sure with the knowledge, the used gear, and the processing that is offered at BCC, that will be a goal that will be definitely accomplished.

For more of Anthony’s work, check out his instagram at @anthony.falsarella

Customer Spotlight – Jersey Dave

 

Welcome to our ninth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Jersey Dave is this month’s customer profile.

All of Dave’s images are taken on a Yashica T4 Super D, using Portra 400 or Tri-X 400 film. 

Please enjoy a few of Dave’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from Jersey Dave: 

“Photography has always been something that’s sparked my interest. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been interested in maintaining memories and have always wanted to do my best to document them.  About four years ago, I started to take my photography more seriously.  I decided to pick up a point and shoot film camera and haven’t put it down since. It was a life changing experience for me; it gave me the opportunity to document people and places most important to me on a daily basis. During these last few years, there hasn’t been a day I’ve left home without it. Having that camera on me has forced me to see the world in a way that most people do not. It helped me find the beauty in every moment, whether good or bad. It has made me appreciate life more than I ever had in the past.  I can’t tell you how many rolls of film I’ve processed throughout these last few years, but what I can tell you, is that Bergen County Camera has been there for me through it all. I’d like to give a big thank you to all the staff at BCC who continually work hard to help me bring my photography into the world for people to see. You guys rule!”

-Jersey Dave

For more of Dave’s work, check out his instagram @JerseyDave01

Customer Spotlight – Andrew Weatherly

Welcome to our eighth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Andrew Weatherly is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of Andrew’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word about Andrew Weatherly: 

For Andrew, art is a tool for personal and social growth.  He believes that art is a medium he can use to advocate for people with disabilities.  Andrew is a painter, poet and photographer.  He chooses the media which offers him extraordinary avenues for self-expression while sharing his own insight and perspective with the viewers.  Andrew’s work is available through the galleries of Art Lifting, Inc.,(www.artlifting.com) and Heart & Sold, UK (www.heartandsold.org.uk).  Information  and current exhibits can be found at www.andrewweatherly.com.  Andrew does not let the fact that he was born with Down Syndrome deter him from developing his passions.

Recent exhibits and juried art shows  include: ArtsAbility 2017, Malvern, PA,  Bergen Performing Arts Center, Sandy BennettGallery, Englewood, NJ 2017; Arts Unbound, No Limits, Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, NJ 2017; Art Lifting Inc., Starbucks Limited Edition Gift Cards, December 2016; Thin Optics, 2016; ArtsAbility 2016, Malverne, PA,  2016 Leesa Dream Gallery, NYC, 2016 Heart & Sold ~ Salford Museum, England, Morristown Medical Center, Healing Arts, Morristown, NJ 2016, 2015 Heart & Sold, NYC, Arts Unbound, “2016 Winter in Summer”, Orange, NJ; Closter, Ft. Lee and Teaneck Public Libraries,  2014 Kennedy Center’s V.S.A. International Emerging Young Artists, The Journey, Washington, DC, Art Lifting, Inc., Cambridge, MA, Arts To The Avenue – Greenwich, Ct., Belskie Museum of Art & Sciences, Closter, NJ and  Cape Cod Museum of Arts, Brewster, MA.  Andrew’s poetry exhibits include VSA NJ 21st and 22nd Joyce Indik Wordsmith Competition and “Voices of Peace Poetry, Veterans for Peace & Arts Foundation, MA.

In 2014 Andrew was selected as one of 15 Emerging Young Artists for the Kennedy Center’s V.S.A. International exhibit, The Journey, for his painting Winter WorldsThe Journey toured in major cities throughout the country following it’s opening at the Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

Publications include “The Art Beyond A Syndrome”, by Andrew Weatherly and selected poetry in       A Room of Golden Shells, Woodbine House.

Find more of Andrew’s paintings, photos, and poetry at his website, andrewweatherly.com

Customer Spotlight – Don Parenta

Welcome to our seventh Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Don Parenta is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of Don Parenta’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from Don: 

“I would like to thank Bergen County Camera for allowing me to feature some of my photography for the month of September. 

I got the photography bug in college in 1975 when I changed my major from Phys Ed to Communications. A required photography class was the start of my love affair with photography.   

Throughout college and for a few years afterward, I made a few bucks taking pictures for several hair salons and wherever else I could talk them into hiring me.  I used a Canon A1 and AE1 with a 50mm and 20mm lens – that’s it!  I also did my own black and white processing in the basement of my parent’s home.  For my nice Italian family, the basement was also where all the cooking happened, so I was always vying for time before dinner, to develop a roll or two of film in my “darkroom”.  Drying prints was a trip. I used the clothes line that ran through the kitchen, and often found myself negotiating with my mother and grandmother to share the kitchen with them, working around the prints drying on the clothes line.  

It turned out that video was the main-focus of my college curriculum and luckily, it became a career for more than twelve years (1977-1989).  I was an ENG/EFP freelance cameraman and ended up at Cablevision in New Jersey where I met my wife Maureen; then on to News 12 on Long Island shooting news and features, aerial videography and shooting for Sports Channel, MTV, Prudential, Howard Stern and other interesting gigs.  In 1989, I hung up my video career because the hours were crazy, and started a career in technical sales.

Moving on throughout the years, video and photography continued to fascinate me but for silly reasons, life got real busy. I put both aside for a while until I bought my first point-and-shoot digital camera in 2000 and that spark re-ignited my interest in photography. Digital plus very active children playing sports got me back into photography.  For nearly 15 years, I primarily shot sports, chasing my children from elementary school sporting events to college football games. 

So, to wrap up this story, today I enjoy an eclectic choice of subject matter with specific interest in scenic photography; my subjects including the antics of raptors (eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey and owls), to buildings and more recently, street photography.  My Nikon and peripheral equipment was all purchased at BCC and includes both Nikon D3 and D4 bodies with prime and zoom lenses to cover most needs.  My darkroom is now filled with two MAC’s, two Epson printers, inks, papers, with not a clothes line in sight.  My favorite scenic locations are the Lake George Region; Island Beach State Park, NJ; and the Delaware River in PA and NY to name a few.  Most weeks, I work in Manhattan a few days and often take my D4 and a short lens just in case I see something interesting to capture and share.  If you ever find yourself in Bolton Landing on Lake George, stop in Trees, a great store on route 9N where my framed prints are on display and for sale.  Enjoy!”

Find more of Don’s photos at his website, photographybydonparenta.com/

Customer Spotlight – John Gonzalez

Welcome to our sixth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

John Gonzalez is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of John Gonzalez’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from John: 

            I have been fascinated with photography since I was in high school and began bugging my parents for a camera. After finally caving in they bought me my first camera, a Canon EOS RT, and the rest is as they say history. Throughout the years I have had many hobbies but the one that I have always stuck with has been Photography.

            Some of my fondest memories were taking photography in college. I would get to school early to get to the darkroom first. To this day, every time I smell vinegar it takes me back to those mornings. For those of you that have developed and printed you would understand.

            Today, even though I primarily shoot digital, I still love shooting and developing film as well. In fact, I love to collect film cameras that were used in photo journalism. My two passions are wildlife photography and street although I mostly do street photography. To me there is just something special about documenting life as it happens on the streets of New York were characters abound. When I first started doing this I was shy and would shoot with long lenses but soon discovered that the images were just not personal. To quote Robert Capa, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. I have literally taken that to heart and get real close and personal. I switched my strategy and started shooting close, really close! Most of my images today are shot at 28mm with a Leica and none are posed. Most of the time it works out just fine, yet other times you get beer bottles thrown at you. I try to capture everyone in their moment and especially love to play with shadows and contrast.

            To me Bergen County Camera is truly more than a store, it is a family and a gathering place for friends that share a common interest. In a world of mega box stores and on-line retailers, it is refreshing to find a place such as this that embodies the sense of community.

 

Keep shooting and above all else always have a camera with you.

You can find John on instagram, @johngonzalez_photography 

Customer Spotlight – Joseph DiCara

Welcome to our fifth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Joseph DiCara  is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of Joseph DiCara’s images in the gallery below.

A word from Joseph DiCara:

I have always had a passion for photography. Fascinated how a single captured second in time can convey such strong and diverse feelings. As an Architect I also strive to create environments that also evoke emotions by everyone that experiences my designs.

A sense of texture, lighting, scale, proportion, composition and yes …surprise… are necessary in creating memorable photography and enduring Architecture.

The ability to create something that others can feel and experience is a skill that must be continually nurtured.

Our friends at BCC do just that. They help us, educate us, critique us, and push us in a fun enjoyable environment.

I have seen wonderful examples of diverse photography ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​and improvement in everyone in the group. I know that Paul has pushed me in my photography to always improve, try new things outside my comfort level and strive to be better.

 

Explore, create, fail, yes fail, but never give up.

Remember

“…good enough never is…”

Joseph DiCara

View Joseph DiCara’s photos below:

Customer Spotlight – Dr. Kumar Patel

Welcome to our fourth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Dr. Kumar Patel is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of Dr. Kumar Patel’s images in the gallery below.

A word from Dr. Kumar Patel:
My passion is nature photography. In my opinion, being close to nature provides the best form of meditation. In addition, I find it fascinating to observe and study animal behavior. I am learning something new all the time.

My photography allows me to share my love of nature with family and friends. In this endeavor, the support and guidance from our friends at Bergen County Camera is an invaluable asset for me.

My website: patelpix.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kumar.patel.5891

Dr. Kumar Patel

Customer Spotlight – Patty Connelly

Welcome to our third Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Patty Connolley is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of Patty’s images in the gallery below.

A word from Patty:
I remember developing film at Bergen County Camera when I was in my late teens. I was always so excited to leaf through that little spiral-bound brown notebook full of 4×6 prints. Fast forward many years, and I found myself, once again, drawn to BCC. Shortly after having children, my desire to take better pictures was born and I soon became a regular at the Saturday morning Focus Sessions. I learned SO much going to those sessions and by picking everyone’s brain whenever I could! I think the first digital camera I purchased was a Panasonic point and shoot. After that a used Mark 5 Canon, then a 6D and finally, the 5D Mark III. I love my Canons, but am also having fun with a great little point and shoot I recently purchased. 

I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to turn my passion/hobby into a thriving business and I feel so blessed to be able to call photography my job. The learning never ends … and that is the best part! 
 
Thank you to everyone at BCC for all your time and patience with me. I’m forever grateful.
Patty