Sunday, December 16, 2007

Down the Shore with...Scott Neumyer

Scott Neumyer is the guy behind the camera -- literally. I forget how I found out about the work of this photographer, who is based on Central Jersey (it's okay -- I don't judge...that much). In any case, Scott found this blog in the way that we find most blogs (by accident, I'm guessing). He wrote me about his very strong South Jersey shore ties, and I liked the recent beach wedding pictures he posted on his blog at, so, viola! He's the latest interviewee of the "Down the Shore with..." series.

1. What do you consider your favorite shore town? Why?
Easily Stone Harbor. Of all the shore towns I've visited in my life (and that's probably just about all of them), Stone Harbor is just so quiet, clean, and peaceful. We spent a lot of time in Wildwood when I was a child and I always thought that was the shore town of choice. That was until I first visited Stone Harbor and was completely blown away by how relaxing it is. My wife and I spend at least a week there every summer. I proposed to her on the beach in front of the Windrift, and it's where we spent our honeymoon. Sure, it's not the hippest or most exciting of all the shore towns, but it's definitely where I'd choose to rest my head were I able to move there permanently.

2. A lot of people go to the shore just to eat. Any foodie memories?
Absolutely! I mean, where do you begin with foodie memories of the shore? Greasy pizza at Seaside and Point Pleasant, Kohr Bros. ice cream at just about any boardwalk. Salt water taffy in Cape May. They all share a little place in my memories, but my main memory is from Donna's Place in Stone Harbor. It's tiny and mostly non-descript, but the food is just fantastic. I'm not a huge seafood eater (go figure), but the first time I went to Donna's Place was with my girlfriend (now wife) on her recommendation. It's pretty much become "our place" and is the restaurant of choice for us every summer. I think we actually ate there at least once a day for the week we spent in Stone Harbor this last summer.

3. Do you have a favorite spot to photograph at the shore, or is everything a possible target?
Everything is probably the easy answer, but if I had to choose only one thing it's people. I'm a portrait and lifestyle photographer, for the most part, and I just love to people watch. Strolling through town (be it in Stone Harbor or Cape May, etc) or down the boardwalk, there are so many different types of people at the Jersey shore and they're all great subjects in one way or another. It's as easy as watching the people, having the guts to approach them and as to make their photo, and then creating something interesting and beautiful. If I could, I'd do that every single day for the rest of my life. People are far more willing to let you make their photo than you might expect, and you can come away with some really cool shots.

4. I see that you've photographed beach weddings you change what you do because of the environmental factors of the beach?

Aside from making sure your gear is protected, the most important thing is probably knowing your surroundings well enough to adjust to whatever conditions may arise. If you know how the wind, the sand, the air, and the water will react (to a certain degree), you can still make great photos in bad situations. The last wedding I shot was in Point Pleasant in early November. It was absolutely freezing and the wind was blowing like crazy, but if you push through those small factors, you can get some really great images. I just kept reminding myself how great the clouds would look (because of the incoming storm) in the final photos and that kept me going through the freezing cold.

5. Aside from weddings, portraits and a whole host of other things, you photograph dogs. I have one -- a somewhat crazy Jack Russell Terrier mix. Any tips on how to get her to sit straight for pictures?
Wow. Yeah, I wish I did. Ha! It's tough to get animals and children to sit still for you, but you have to be persistent. Especially hyper dogs are even tougher. The only advice I could offer is to get down on their level. Play with them (this works for animals and children). Show them that you love them and then start picking up the camera. Take a ton of shots and eventually you'll get some that you love. With dogs, you end up throwing a lot away, but all that only makes you faster. The faster you are, the better chance of grabbing a great dog portrait. There are photographers I know that specialize in Dog Portraiture and they're some of the quickest and best photographers you'll ever find.

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Jean M Fogle said...

Jen I enjoyed reading this post, I see you psoted the cover of your book!

Trish Ryan said...

Great advice about the dog pics. I have the cutest--and least photogenic--dog on earth. Maybe some persistence and taking more shots will help :)

Laura said...

Fantastic article, congrats on being interviewed Scott!!!

Dinah said...

I'm late to this entry, but here's a tip for you re: dog portraits--hold a treat in one hand, the camera in the other. Or have an assistant stand behind/near you with the treats. That'll get their attention.