Category Archive: Uncategorized

I’m putting out my work. That’s right, all of it.

Ray – Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan 2013 – Inside New York Series – Leon Cato

April 16, 2014 – 11:51pm

I thought I would be able to sleep. Things are going ok. I am working, exercising, planning and all of that. I thought that because of all these things and how tired I actually feel that I would be sleeping right now – soundly.

But I can’t sleep because my mind is racing. Racing because I can’t wait to create. Racing because I can’t wait to share. Racing because I am in the middle of my most creative period since 2006 when I first started experimenting and allowing photography to swallow me whole.

Since my Create the Time post exactly one month ago, my mind has opened. I don’t know exactly what happened but I am taking my own advice and doing what is required to make this journey great. I’ve visited galleries, completed research, read periodicals, brainstormed new ideas, made connections and am finishing long overdue personal projects.

So, here it is.

I have about 5 or so projects that are at various stages of completion as I type. This has been the case for a while now – actually, to be totally honest for about a couple of years. I don’t know how this happened as I never thought myself to be one that left work unfinished. Yes I can explain it away – moved back to NY suddenly, helped family get back on their feet, scrambled to find work, got married, scrambled to make more money, etc, etc, etc.

But in all of this I have stopped doing the thing that I did and loved doing in the first bloody place. Create and share. Create and share. Rinse, repeat.

Lucky for me I have an amazingly supportive wife who keeps telling me to get my work out there. (She also told me one project at a time and no more new projects until I finish the current ones).

So alas, please find above one of many portraits I have taken over the last two years. This is the first of the series Inside New York.

In between commissions, I have a gig that helps bridge the bill paying gap. Most photographers do, they just don’t talk about it. Lucky for me, this gig is photography related and allows me to meet a lot of people.

I have taken it upon myself to start photographing these people in their homes – thus the title Inside New York. the concept is to capture folk in their most comfortable space, being themselves in their custom made surroundings. The one place where they can be who they want and do whatever they want to do – outside of the judging eyes of most folk.

There are many more of these portraits to come. And much more of my work to be released.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Love and peace,


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What is your schedule like this morning?

DifferentMorningphotoMorning Ritual – Copyright 2014 – Leon Cato Photography

Time is certainly relative. And this is rarely demonstrated more clearly than in big cities where the extremes can be VERY extreme.

Sometimes while I am toiling away into the late evening I think about what the other 7,999,999 New Yorkers are doing at that particular moment. Some are working too, while others are partying, spending time with family, crying, rejoicing and sleeping. During these pensive times for me I often marvel at the difference of each person’s path. How each person spends the time we are given.

I take photos. I run my business.

I love my wife. I am there for my friends and family.

To get to this point is a sum of my life experiences. During certain periods I have worked excessively for others, partied and travelled extensively for myself and studied  relentlessly for what I thought was a guaranteed happy future. None of these individual things lead to real happiness, but were all necessary to bring me to today.

Through all the ups and downs of running my photography and image business, I can’t see myself doing anything else. The future will involve continuing to take in all experiences with a certain bit of wisdom and allowing the right elements to contribute to growth; sharing knowledge and experience with others; and sharing time with my life partner and loved ones.

That is how my time will be spent.

Peace Always,


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Music has a phenomenal way of bottoming me out so to speak. Recalibrating me. Putting things back where they should be and re-normalising things.

When things are out of whack its usually because my current music rotation is stale. Time seems to get the best of me, I am in a spinning hamster wheel of sorts not able to catch up.

This goes on for too long sometimes – most recently it felt like forever during a particular spell. But sitting down and investing time sorting out music is time I never wish back – for it is what fuels me for the next episode, and next episode, and so on….


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All Shot on iPhone

Copyright 2013 – Leon Cato Photography

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Union Square – NYC

Copyright 2013 – Leon Cato Photography

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A Different Slant

It seems that part of human nature is to allow negative thoughts to jump to the fore of the mind. Call it a morbid fascination of failure or an achievement deficiency, fear of the consequences of doing something different disrupts and defeats the realization of far too many dreams and aspirations.

Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Over half of new businesses fail within the first two years.  Why do we all know these negative “facts”, and more so why are we happy to recite them? How often do you hear, “After the first two years of business, fifty percent of companies start to see real and sustained growth”.

Not nearly as often.

The 2 year anniversary of my photography business is coming up in 17 days. I certainly am excited to see what’s on the other side of this particular hurdle – complete with all the requisite challenges.

Plan on being one of the happier fifty percent.



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The Independent Farce

Shocking. A friend of mine was in town from London and I thought it a good idea to check out the Macy’s fireworks in NYC. I did my research and midtown was slated as being a good location to view the spectacle. But to our – and thousands of others severe disappointment – we couldn’t see a damned thing. Horribly pathetic. Bloomberg – was this your foul-up? Very sad.

Totally vexed,


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Empire State of…Nevermind.

I am a big fan of many photographers, it kind of comes with the territory.

But there is so much imagery around these days that the temptation to follow a certain “look” or “feel’ gets the best of many.

Resist the obvious, change the game, forget the fad, norm or whatever. Do not do the expected. And above all else…nevermind.



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Better to Have Love and Lost…

Feeling a bit nostalgic about London today. So I downloaded loads of shots from my iPhone (which I don’t do nearly often enough) and started to work on a post with loads of images from London complete with an essay-style post.

Wasn’t feeling where it was going so I left it alone for a while and started working on something else. Just reopened Lightroom and saw this image and it all made sense to me.

Arguably one of the most endearing and unique elements of UK culture is the pub. And what’s really cool is stumbling upon (or into) an old style pub in London – for often they are visually remarkable and your eye captures something quite nice indeed….



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Bridge to the Future…

Took this photograph this past weekend on a photowalk with some really cool photo enthusiast folk that I met for the first time. I realzed  today that it represents the transitional stage of my life right now. Bright, exciting bridge of colour emerging against a contrasting sky. The sky although gray still has a limitless feel to it and the bridge continues into a distance with no clear ending point.

Can’t wait to explore what’s further down the line.

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