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Meet Joseph Henry of Joe Lengson Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Henry.

Joseph, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I initially began shooting photography at 12 years old with 35mm disposable cameras by taking pictures of my dog and getting the film developed at Wal-Mart. In high school, I discovered film photography with real 35mm, 120mm, and vintage plastic toy cameras like Holga’s and Fisheye Lomography cameras, then developing it myself in a dark room in my high school. Directly following high school, I began my career as a musician and during that time traveled world-wide full-time and I set my camera aside to shift focus.

Roughly a year into traveling, I decided to invest into convenience and I purchased my first digital camera. It was a simple point and shoot Canon camera that I don’t remember the model name of. At the time it served its purpose adequately, a portable and reliable camera device, though that simple camera was no match for my passion for professional photography, which would require upgrading camera equipment.

I invested into the earliest DSLR cameras that obtained cinema capabilities, then into better cameras, and then better cameras, and more cameras… By then, years into my professional music career, my love for photography had outgrown my passion for music.

I fell in love shooting the bands I was on tour with and other artists, live concerts, photojournalism travel, and lifestyle. I wistfully made a thoughtful decision to quit touring with the band and I moved back to Los Angeles to begin my journey as a photographer with intentions of either teaching English or photographing fashion.

Almost immediately, I discovered those two fields were unrealistic in Los Angeles for a young photographer like me, unless I wanted to work for no pay. Almost on the brink of giving up, unexpectedly through a friend I discovered the wedding and portrait industry and began shooting for a wedding studio.

Less than a year into working here in Los Angeles for a now defunct wedding photography studio, I got moved to New York City, where the studio also had a presence and I took on the roll as studio manager and lead photographer. This position required constant travel back and forth between New York City and Los Angeles due to the fact that I was the only lead photographer the studio had.

A few years into working for this particular studio, unfortunate and bizarre circumstances arose, which prompted my rather abrupt resignation and ultimately gave me that auxiliary push to thrust into the idea of starting my own company. Though it was difficult at the time, I now have experience in what is required for this industry and how I want to run my own company, which is to be honest and passionate. Having shot and managed studios for years nationwide truly did give me the experience that is required to be in the position I am in now.

I am now able to work with clients that understand that the love two people share on their wedding day is the most cherished and important day in their lives, as well as that art and culture is incredibly important to this world. My goal is to capture those two components with respect and consideration to my clients.

Has it been a smooth road?
There certainly have been complications, Starting a company requires many things, but mostly time and money. A lot of wonderful and talented people don’t always have these two important factors that detail into successful companies. When I first began my career as photographer, I would take on any job that was willing to pay me. At the time, I didn’t fully comprehend the industry and monetary value of this kind of work, so I worked any gig. I would work as a photographer where I was put in danger or if I needed to travel far distances, just because someone was willing to pay me for my work. Even if I lost money on the trip, it still processed as work in my mind for some reason. I was once extremely broke and stuck in New York because the studio owner whom processed my payroll was out of the country and couldn’t execute payments, so I lived out of our office for a while and some nights even a car!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a full-time wedding photographer specializing in destination weddings, elopements, and beautiful fine art weddings. I specialize in capturing love. I have an unrivalled passion for traveling to the most incredible & remote destinations, experiencing different cultures, and capturing unique love stories.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Our beautiful and vibrant city here in Los Angeles has it all. Urban, country, beach, nature, dense, dirty, clean, emptiness… everything. As a wedding photographer in Los Angeles, I can shoot a wedding in the middle of the desert on Friday, an urban downtown skyscraper wedding on Saturday, and a mountain/beach wedding on Sunday, in all honesty, that is what a typical weekend looks like for me anyway, that’s what I have to work with. I have so many opportunities for work in drastically contrasting locations and cultures. We are living in a dream.

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