Welcome to my photography site! My name is Frank Jay Leonard, son of Gloria and Frank A Leonard, both now gone. My sister Nancy and I grew up with our parents in Santa Cruz, on the West Side, on Woodrow Avenue, about three blocks from West Cliff Drive and the sea. I loved it at the ocean, playing with my dog Tippy, and taking photographs until they rolled out my ears.
I experienced darkroom photography for the first time fifty-four years ago, at the age of twelve. A friend invited me to his garage darkroom, to develop and print pictures. The first time I witnessed an image come up magically on a piece of blank paper that had been dropped into a tray of DK-50 developer, it was magic! I was changed forever, hooked for life. Living as close to the ocean as I did, I quickly fell in love with seascapes and landscapes and black and white, darkroom photography.
My life has taken many paths since that experience at twelve years old. I became a minister. I married and helped raise two beautiful young men. I became a public school teacher and counselor. In 1998 I left the church and my first marriage. In 2008 I retired from public education, having taught and counseled elementary and middle school children for twenty-two years in San Francisco. I am now living a new life in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with my beloved wife Joyce, four cats, and a dog. And in all of this, there was and is the backdrop of photography. In all of this, I have been a photographer since that day fifty-four years ago.
In my retirement from public education, photography is providing an incredible outlet for my passion and my excitement. It has come back to capture my imagination and creativity in ways just as powerful as when I was a teenager. I love to express myself in images, and to share some of the ways in which I see the world. I welcome you to this site. I hope you enjoy my images. I hope that once in a while you will purchase a favorite print for a wall in your home. It would be an honor and a privilege to provide something that enriches your life and your home.
I have constructed a gallery for my photography here in Ben Lomond, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. My gallery is viewable by appointment. Simply give me a call at 831-345-5496 to schedule an appointment. I would be pleased to show you my art. I also host special shows at my gallery, featuring guest artists, live entertainment, snacks and beverages. Please click on the “Email Frank” button near the top of this page, or the “Add me to your Email list” at the bottom of this page, to let me know that you would like me to add your email address to my Once-A-Month Newsletter. This newsletter will keep you up to date on upcoming shows and special events, and new additions to this website.
I am grateful to be alive and to be able to do my photography. I am grateful to have a partner who embraces my work and encourages me, sons who I am so proud of, and friends I am making in this community who are already blessings in Joyce’s and my life.
Thanks for visiting!