Spring 2024 Customer Spotlight – Tom Jolly

Spring 2024 Customer Spotlight – Tom Jolly

Welcome to our thirty-sixth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This seasonal 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 few months you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media.  

Tom Jolly is our customer spotlight for the 2024 Spring season. 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 bit about Tom, and a gallery containing some of Tom’s images.

Photography has been an important part of my life since I can remember, starting with my first camera before I was 10. Growing up in Tennessee and Pittsburgh, I photographed family, friends and sports events, and then spent hours in the darkroom, thrilling at the sight of my images emerging in the dim light. 

As time went on, though, my own photography gradually took a backseat to my career as a journalist, even as photography in the larger sense remained an important part of my job: I was Sports Editor at The New York Times and currently manage the team that designs and edits the newspaper.

But then around 2017, my daughter took up hockey. I started shooting her games and sharing the photos with the families of her teammates. They were appreciative, but I wanted to do better, so I started asking questions at Bergen County Camera, coming to the Focus Sessions on Saturday mornings, taking advantage of guest presentations there by the likes of Jean Fruth (backgrounds! shadows!) and Rick Gerrity (faces!) and learning from the many talented photographers who are regulars at BCC. 

Early on, Paul Carretta said something to me that hit home: “The best way to get better is to keep shooting pictures.”

It occurred to me that sports events represent a programmed way of doing that since they’re scheduled, they feature fast action, competitive passion and fresh storylines. It’s no surprise given my daughter’s interest that hockey has turned into one of my favorite subjects – and I always keep John Currens’s guidance in mind: “Get the puck in the picture.” 

Before long, I was getting requests to shoot all kinds of sports around the area. As those opportunities grew, I asked the former New York Times photographer Jose Lopez if he would critique my work and he has become a gracious mentor. Separately, my friend Ashok Ginde and I created a photography club that meets once a month at the Hillsdale Library. It’s a great opportunity to exchange ideas and inspire each other. (Let me know if you’re interested!)

In fact, in many ways, the community of photographers I’ve gotten to share a part in is as rewarding as the work itself. 

That makes me all the more appreciative of Bergen County Camera for featuring my work here. If you’d like to see more of it, you can find me on Instagram @tom.jolly.photography and on my website at tomjollyphotography.com

Winter Photo Assignment: Looking Up & Looking Down

Announcing our latest winter photo assignment, Looking Up & Looking Down! If you missed this past Saturday, check out the details below!

Watch our winter photo assignment webinar on demand.


  • -The photo must be taken looking up or looking down, simple enough. We don’t want to see any horizon lines or full blown landscapes.
  • -Images must be taken between February 10th and March 15th of 2024.
  • -You may either submit one image looking up or looking down, OR one of each – one looking up and another looking down.
  • -Your image(s) are due Friday, March 15th by 12:00pm (noon). Please email submissions to focus@bergencountycamera.com
  • -Please have your images sized no smaller than 2000 pixel wide/tall in JPEG format

The review session will be held in-store on Saturday, March 16th at 9:30am. Doors open at 9:00 for coffee! As with all of our past Focus Session Assignments, this is a chance to get creative and try new things. We’re not grading you, so have have fun with it. We can’t wait to see what you capture!

Here are some example to get the creative juices flowing. Again, we want you to be creative, so don’t feel the need to replicate any of the following. Just use them as a guide!

Jean Deer – Special In-Person Opening Reception April 14 at 7 pm

Jean Deer In-Person Opening Reception – Twenty-five years after surviving a massive stroke, Jean Deer, once a renowned photographer, traded his camera for a simple ballpoint pen. His collection includes over 18,000 original drawings, all expressions of a life which cannot be verbally communicated as a result of his global aphasia. His daily devotion to drawing has kept his spirit shining and Stroke of Genius is proof that creativity can never be silenced.

Join us on April 14, 2022 from 7 – 9 pm for this special event for an in person opening of this very special limited edition show.

Free Registration

Jean Deer In-Person Opening Reception

This is a free event — Please RSVP to let us know you will be joining us. Hope you see you.

Jean Deer Drawings

Jim Wright’s New Book & Birding Spots

Feel free to stop by Bergen County Camera to check out Jim’s newest book, and to purchase a signed copy!

Missed Jim’s Focus Session? Check out the replay here.

You can contact Matt Wozniak of Conserve Wildlife Foundation about contributing your N.J. wildlife photos to CWF’s social media campaign at matt.wozniak@conservewildlifenj.org

You can read the interactive e-book I did about Bald Eagles for Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation here.

You can see my Cuba photo e-book here.

You can see the e-book I did last year featuring my “Bird Watcher” columns for The Record here.

Bird Police: Identify and Correct Badge
You can contact Katie Andersen about ordering a “Bird Police” sticker or badge at birderkmandersen@hotmail.com.

Some locations


  • Merlin Birding App (mentioned by Jim)

Shooting the Last Frontier with Vinit Mode and Two Tamron Lenses

Two Tamron lenses accompanied Vinit on his trip to the Last Frontier: the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 VC and the SP 150-600mm VC G2. “I definitely wanted to have the 150-600 with me for taking pictures of wildlife,” he says. “And I found it useful for other logistical reasons. For example, when you’re in Denali National Park, you can’t take your private vehicle into much of it, so we were on a bus. Shooting through bus glass can be tricky, but my handheld pictures of the snowcapped mountains through the windows came out amazing.”

Read more

Drivesavers Offering FREE Hurricane Harvey/Irma Data Recoveries

Drivesavers, a company we have worked with for years to retrieve precious ‘unrecoverable’ data, has decided to offer free recoveries to those who lost data as a result of the recent Hurricanes. 

Houston residents are just starting to deal with the Hurricane Harvey aftermath and already we have an even bigger hurricane, Hurricane Irma, on its way to Florida. DriveSavers hopes to help by giving victims an opportunity to regain irreplaceable personal, business and financial data.

Free data recovery service is currently available for victims of Hurricane Harvey who have water damaged devices resulting from the flooding in Texas.

We will also be offering free recovery to victims of Hurricane Irma for their water damaged devices.

Because exposure to water and air cause corrosion on electronic circuitry, we have deadlines for these devices: September 15th for Harvey devices and September 30th for Irma devices. There is a limit of one device per business or household. Customers needing additional recoveries, and those with multi-disk devices such as RAID, NAS and SAN devices, are eligible for a 50 percent discount off the regular service fees.

Here is some information more about Drivesavers Data Recovery:

“At DriveSavers, data loss is only temporary and we prove it every day with the highest data recovery success rate in the industry. For over 30 years, we’ve performed data recovery on every kind of storage device including hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), smartphones, tablets, USB flash drives, camera cards and enterprise-level devices like RAIDs. We handle every kind of data loss situation including mechanical failure, physical, water and fire damage, data corruption, file deletions, head crashes and more. We conduct all our data recoveries inside a Certified ISO Class 5 Cleanroom that is dust-free and static-free. Think of it as an operating room for damaged drives. Our Cleanroom prevents contamination that could result in permanent data loss while we perform surgery on the delicate components of your storage device. That’s why major manufacturers have trusted DriveSavers since 1985 to perform intricate recovery operations without voiding your warranty.”

To read the press release about Hurricane Harvey, click here.

To read the press release about Hurricane Irma, click here. 

National Park Lifetime Passes

Do you love to take pictures at National Parks? 

Did you know that if you’re aged 62 or older you’re eligible to receive a senior pass at only $10? Once known as the Golden Age Passport, it is a lifetime pass valid for entrance to over 2,000 federal recreation sites including national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges which normally charge entrance fees. Pass holders that are driving into areas with entrance fees can also bring in traveling guests with them for free. At some areas, the pass even includes 50 percent discounts on camping, boat launching, etc. On August 28th, this pass’s cost is increasing 700 percent to $80.00. The price has been at $10.00 since 1994. The new $80.00 price tag will now be of equal price to that of a years pass for one person aged below 62. These passes can be purchased at locations in person as well as online at https://store.usgs.gov/senior-pass.

Looking for Something to Do? Butterfly Fest Sunday 8/13

Butterfly Fest

Sunday August 13th

Noon – 3pm

Looking for something to do this weekend? Look no further than New Jersey’s own Botanical Garden. Visit the New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands, located in Ringwood, NJ on Sunday for their Butterfly Festival held by the Bergen County Audubon Society. Meet up at the Carriage House Visitor Center, to learn all about butterflies and how to attract them. Butterfly walks will also be led throughout the day. Guests will be able to walk through the Botanical Garden, and identify the butterflies that inhabit the area. 

The Botanical Garden at Skylands is also a great location for birding, and the 1117-acre property also includes a Tudor revival mansion built in the 1920s from stone quarried in the estate. Tours are led of the estate, and self-guiding tours are available of the grounds. Enjoy a stroll through history at the Skylands Botanical Gardens.

More information regarding this event and the Botanical Garden can be found on their website,  www.njbg.org/, as well as on https://www.mybergen.com/bergen-county-nj-events-entertainment-northern-new-jersey-plays-concerts-fundraisers-comedy/butterfl