Welcome to my gallery of photography work from over the last 40 years

I’ve gone down a long road over my 40+ years as a professional photographer facing many creative challenges. I got my start as an intern photographer at the White House during the Carter administration in 1978. After working on both coasts I’ve ended back in Illinois and focus on documentary work, commercial assignments and portraits. Please contact me at jay@jaybryant.com if you need help with a project or photo assignment. All images are copyright 2023 by Jay Bryant. The website for my consulting work for Mint Collective is at: https://mintcollective.net/

Here are some of my favorite images:

Photo by Jay Bryant

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My support for Chris Daggett

Photo by Jay Bryant

I spent all day Friday riding on Chris Daggett’s campaign bus through Southern and Central New Jersey to document his campaign with pictures and video. The photos can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaysbryant/sets/72157622580414431/

(Full disclosure: I was invited by the campaign and got 2 t-shirts, a side order of corn-beef hash, 2 pieces of tomato pie and a bag of pretzels)

I was impressed with:

Daggett’s drive and determination to make a difference in this state

Taking the time to listen and interact with the people he met during the day. Most politicians I’ve been with just shake hands and move on.

The incredible support that he has from his wife and daughters out on the campaign trail with him all day long.

I was drawn to Daggett by the endorsement of the Newark Star Ledger which said:

“The newspaper’s decision is less a rejection of Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie than a repudiation of the parties they represent, both of which have forfeited any claim to the trust and confidence of the people of New Jersey. They share responsibility for the state’s current plight.”

And today the Star-Ledger added:

“Indeed, it’s more critical function is to send those who govern in Trenton a clear signal that they’ve gone badly wrong, that radical reform is needed.

A vote for Corzine or Christie won’t do that. Only by sending Chris Daggett to Trenton will voters make it clear that the era of wretched excess and irresponsible spending in Trenton must end — now.”

My final words are those that Chris Daggett tells everyone:

“It is never wrong to vote for the right person.”

Chris Daggett is my choice for the next Governor of New Jersey.

Remembering Ted Kennedy

On the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, I wanted to share one of my images that I shot of him back in 1978 when I was an intern photographer at the White House. Kennedy and Mrs. Carter had just returned from the funeral of Pope Paul VI in Rome and were met by President Carter at Andrews Air Force Base.

I’ve been thinking about this image this week with the news of his death. I went on a hunt through my house today trying to find the album with the 11×14 print that I have (the negatives are in the Carter Library) to scan it and post it. After tearing through my garage and basement this afternoon for 2 hours… I was not able to find the print. I did get lucky tonight and found a slide copy in my office and did a scan of it (sorry for the poor quality…it is a 3rd generation image).

Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter and Ted Kennedy

Amy and James

I had decent weather to shoot a beach wedding of Amy and James this weekend in Beach Haven NJ. They picked the Gables Inn …which was a good location and great food.

I’ve always said…give me a good window and I can shoot an entire album with just that window light:

Photo by Jay Bryant

Photo by Jay Bryant

Photo by Jay Bryant

Photo by Jay Bryant

A really cute thumbs up shot of the flower girls:

Photo by Jay Bryant

Photo by Jay Bryant

Photo by Jay Bryant

And some really nice shots from my assistant Lara Darpino of the couple:

Photo by Lara Darpino

Photo by Lara Darpino

And one last shot..my signature ending shot of me with the bride:

Photo by Jay Bryant

Life at 6400 ISO

I continue to be blown away by the Nikon D700 with the 6400 ISO capabilities to shoot in low light. It has opened up a whole new set of images that I could not dream of doing before with a digital camera.

Here is an image of my assistant Lara that I shot at a wedding this weekend:

Photo by Jay Bryant

Reflections on Turning 50

I’ve hit another big milestone in my life today turning 50. For the last month I’ve been reflecting on my life and what wisdom I would share on this special day. More than ever, I’m now being sought out to give advice and share my experiences.

Many of my values that define me where shaped by growing up in Nebraska. I lived in an idyllic setting much like fictional town of Lake Wobegon made famous in the radio show Prairie Home Companion. Living on the edge of the prairie gave me a set of unique experiences that have propelled me through my life.

My wife Gina and daughters have also impacted my life with their un-ending love and support. My daughters have always inspired me to step back and take a look at things through a different un-filtered view.

My mother influenced me with her artistic skills and sense of humor. And my father instilled into me skills to be a life long learner.

Some phrases that have stuck with me over the years:

“You never make it unless you deal with the person at the top” This was advice that my neighbor Mrs. McLaughlin would always tell us growing up with her very heavy Boston accent. McLaughlin was a very formal lady that always wore white gloves. She was very successful as a businesswoman and owned about half the real estate in our downtown area.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This was the Golden Rule that my grandfather Geddes would always quote to me. He was a mortician and always had to deal with people at the time of their deepest sorrows in life.

“No matter what happens…people will always eat” Was advice from my grandmother to hold unto ConAgra stock that has been in the family for 4 generations.

I’ve always set significant goals than define each decade of my professional life. At age 20 I got a lucky break and had already worked at the White House as a photographer. I was challenged by a mentor to put myself on the map at a major national newspaper, so I ended up at the Orange County (CA) Register as an editor when I was 31. When I hit 40, I was a Vice President of an Internet company.

Now I’m in the position to help provide people the tools and the strategy to move into the digital age that is rapidly changing our lives and economy.

I end with one of my favorite quotes from the martyred Lutheran Minster Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“By the time you have grown up, the old country parsonage and the old
town villa will belong to a vanished world. But the old spirit, after
a time of misunderstanding and weakness, withdrawal and recovery,
preservation and rehabilitation, will produce new forms. To be deeply
rooted in the soil of the past makes life harder, but it also makes it
richer and more vigorous. There are in human life certain fundamental
truths to which men will always return sooner or later; we have to be
able to wait.”