Our Ancestors are Whispering

1937 Photography by Dorothea Lang

Photograph by Dorothea Lang in 1937, Kern County, California. Photographed for the Farm Security Administration and now lives in the archives of the Library of Congress.

The human character has the capacity for doing good and being greedy.  Throughout time a few power hungry people have tried and more often than not succeeded in dominating the many.  The central hope within the idea of democracy is that we each have equal power to determine our way forward.  That power is the vote.  Fellow citizens and patriots through the ages have worked hard, sacrificed and fought so that the power of the state stays invested in the will of the people.  We must protect that legacy and sacred RIGHT.  It is our time now and we must work hard, sacrifice  and fight for our right to use our vote and determine our future.

The insane amount of money being spent by both Democrats and Republicans borders on the vulgar and is an insult to the democratic process.  Democracy assumes that we the citizens are intelligent enough to make good choices.  The hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to advertise each parties message belies that concept.  The very nature of the political advertising is an attempt to manipulate us, heat up our prejudices and exploit our  fears.  As one citizen I can and I will do the one thing I can VOTE.


Amagansett Art: Across the Years


Photograph by Wayne Eastep is on display at the show “Amagansett Art: Across The Years.”  Sales from the show benefit the Amagansett Historical Association. The building shown in the photo is the Hilton Leech house and Amagansett Art School in historic Sarasota, Florida. The house is listed on the  U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Hilton Leech lived and taught art in Amagansett, East Hampton, NY and Sarasota, Florida.



One of the Survivors

Green Anoles

Carolina  anole (Anolis carolinensis) is the only anole native to the United States. Sarasota, Florida

A few days ago I posted an image of a Cuban Anole.  They were brought to Florida from Cuba in plants.  They are aggressive and have driven the Green Anoles away.  The Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) is the only anole native to the United States. They are also called American chameleon.  I was photographing a unique cactus which is about to flower and this Green Anoles came marching into view.

To see more nature studies visit: EastepPhotography.com

People who have influenced me

Bill Stettner


Bill Stetter

Bill Stettner and Wayne Eastep on location in Egypt.

Perhaps the refusal to cut down a tree blocking an advertising shot for RJ Reynolds in Egypt, the dismissal of an over zealous dog handler in Central Park on a shoot for Polaroid, or not requiring a 6-year-old to eat spam on a photo shoot for Hormel show something about Bill Stettner’s humanity. Bill was a highly sensitive and complex person.

I was fortunate to work with Bill at the peak of his commercial photography career.  I assisted him on 250 jobs and saw the professional and the person behind the camera: a man with a terrific sense of humor, a remarkable awareness of the mechanics of image making, business acumen and ethics of the profession.

He was human with the good and bad.  He had a temper and could be impatient.  He had the ability to be direct in a way that at times felt abrupt. He was funny very funny.Advertising Photographer, Bill Stettner

Toward the end of my two years with Bill we had a conversation about what I might do with my career, as an “artist” I wanted to talk about the aesthetics of photography.  Bill cut to the point and asked me, “What kind of lifestyle do you want?” I wondered out loud what that had to do with photography and he responded, “Everything. Look, if you create a photograph for an editorial story you’ll get paid $500. If you create the same image for corporate communications you’ll get paid $2,500, create the identical image for advertising and you’ll make between $5,000 and $10,0Advertising Photographer, Bill Stettner00 dollars. If you want a family, to own your own home, go out to restaurants and have a nice car, you’ll need to shoot for advertising or corporate assignments. If you are ok with living a low profile life then you can do editorial or fine art work.”  Thirty years later as a professional photographer I can affirm that Bill’s advice was sound.  I wanted the “good life” and I wanted to do documentary projects, so I built a business that combined commercial and personal work, not an easy thing to do but worth the effort.

Bill had a director’s ability and paid  attention to everything on a shoot, both human behavior and physical details. I remember many times being sent to the print collection at the New York Public Library to research a specific time or place. Bill was intent on getting the hat, car, soda can, the hairstyle and every other detail as authentic as possible.

One assignment comes to mind that will illustrate this attentiveness.

Bill Stettner, photographer, Kentucky

Bill Stettner shooting in Louisville, KY.

We were creating an album cover for Columbia records.  The layout indicated a Victorian house with picket fence, mailbox and sidewalk.  Bill commissioned a model maker in New York to build the Victorian house to scale.  The model stood about thirty inches tall, included interior lights that worked, a one inch tall tricycle with pedals that turned and a mailbox with an envelope inside addressed to the artist c/o Columbia Records 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

I asked Bill why make the doors and windows open, the lights turn on, the tricycle work and place an envelope inside a closed mailbox with a handwritten address.  Bill answered, “The purpose of the image is to tell a story. As photographers we must go inside the story and illustrate it with authenticity. The intention of our effort and the energy we put into the picture will inform the final photograph in a way that the viewer will believe .”  I was at an impressionable phase in my career and took that advice to heart.  The advice has caused me a lot of extra work, but I believe my images are more authentic as a result.

Bill Stettner was a storyteller.  He told stories, often very funny stories, better than anyone I’ve ever heard.  That’s saying a lot because I grew up in the South where storytelling is a way of life.  Time and again he  helped a person who was self conscious in front of the camera relax and open up as a result of a story he told.  He had a love of the story and great sense of humor.

Photographer Bill Stettner and Photo Assistant, Wayne Eastep

Bill Stettner and Wayne Eastep on location at the pyramids, Giza, Egypt

Bill was one of those photographers who worked for years to secure photographers rights and protect artist’s copyright. He was ambitious and competitive but he was also generous. He was

effective in  strengthening  the profession of photography. He made my career  possible because he gave me my first chance to work as a photographer.  His plain talk and straightforward advice that I actually took to heart has helped me have a career that provided a good living for my family and a fulfilling life as an artist. Not only does Bill’s memory live on in my heart it is manifest in my creative and professional life. With gratitude I honor Bill Stettner.



Kickstarter, Vanishing Cultures, Dennis Manarchy,

Marking History by Making History

It is rare that we have a chance to be part of making  history. This is one of those times when the marking of history ( 2014 is the 200th anniversary of the creation of the camera) is to be marked by the making of JAW DROPPING 4.5 FEET by 6 FEET  one of a kind view camera. Portrait Photographer, Dennis Manarchy the visionary will use the camera to document our unique and rich American culture.  This is a righteous use of such a remarkable creation.  I salute Dennis and his team.

I invite you to visit  Kickstarter and with me become a Backer and help make history happen. Wayne Eastep




Recent Personal Images

America’s No. 1 Beach

The Best Beach in America

Best Beach in USA

America's Best Beach

Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida

This is what happens when people discover you have the “Best Beach in the USA.”  They come cover it up and make phone calls.  Hang on. Who says it’s the best, and who made them an authority?  Well Dr. Beach of course!  Yes, there is a Dr. Beach, Stephen P. Leatherman, Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research.

This is what the doctor says…”Siesta Beach in Sarasota boasts that it has the finest and whitest sand in the world, and I cannot argue with this claim; the powdery sand is nearly pure quartz crystal.  The beautiful blue-colored water is clean and clear, making it so inviting to bathers and swimmers.  The beach is hundreds of yards wide, attracting volleyball players and beachcombers as well as those who just want to find their place in the sun.  Waves at Siesta Key Beach are normally measured in inches and the beach gradually slopes into the Gulf waters, making it very safe area for children.” Consumer Traveler, May 31, 2011

I actually prefer Lido Beach on Lido Key in Sarasota, FL – mainly because it’s closer to my home.