Instant Connections: On the Nook

Today was the first day that I actually saw my book Instant Connections on a Nook. I knew it was available on it, but I had never seen it with my own two eyes. Thanks Barnes & Noble for not yelling at me for taking a picture of it in your store. (Yes, they actually chastised me in front of my 9-year old niece for trying to take a picture in their store last month…….we won’t get into that here.  I’m all about happy thoughts.) P.S…….supposedly it’s a rule that you are not allowed to take photographs in their stores.

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I picked up the book REMOTE: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson after reading their first book REWORK.

The title of this book describes exactly what the book is about: working remotely. Now, I’ve worked from corporate offices and remotely from home in my past life. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to do so, there is ups and downs to it.

This book talks about the positives and the negatives and how to keep your employees working on all cylinders while also giving them the freedom to work autonomously and not as structured and monitored as if they were sitting in an office 9-5pm.

As a gallery owner, I have learned that if you can control your business and transactions pertaining to your business from practically anywhere, your business has a better chance of succeeding and growing. I work just as hard sitting on my couch at home, from a hotel room in Paris, France, or from a friends home in Tampa, Florida as I do sitting in my gallery.

Many galleries in the last 10 years have closed their brick and mortar locations and opted to just do art fairs. This is as mobile as you can get, and many are profiting from it. Dealers pop up at a different art fairs around the globe, set up a booth filled with work of artists that they represent, then after the event is over, pack it up until the next big event. This is a savvy business model for some, but not all. I do think there is something to be said about having a permanent location, but that doesn’t mean I always will.

REWORK on the other hand, was a much better read. There were a lot of motivating quotes that I pulled out of it that made sense, not just for business-minded individuals. Here’s a few good ones:

“Workaholics aren’t heroes. The real hero is home already because she figured out a faster way to get things done.”

“Be a curator.  Stick with what’s truly essential.”

“The real world isn’t a place, it’s an excuse. It’s a justification or not trying. It has nothing to do with you.”

“Standing for something isn’t just about writing it down.  It’s about believing it and living it.”

Both of these books are easy reads. Start with REWORK, then decide if REMOTE is needed.

Instant Connections: The Photos

I love it when people send me photographs that they took with my book Instant Connections. I am very honored that you are reading it, and in one case, destroying it. Take a picture with the book this summer and send it to me. I’m sure you can find me via email or any of the number of social media sites I’m on.

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Ask The Author on GoodReads

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GoodReads has this great new section called, Ask The Author.  You can submit questions to any of your favorite authors if they have set up accounts on GoodReads. So, with that said, I will be taking questions all summer long about my book Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography.  Just visit their site and post a question. I will answer questions directly related to the book, but also questions on photography, running a gallery, being a collector, networking, building connections, your art brand, and mentors.

A Game of Baseball

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Red Sox montage by Stephen Sheffield

It’s a full count––three balls, two strikes. You try to remember everything your father told you: “Keep your eyes on the ball. Check your stance. Set your feet. Bend your knees. Get the bat off of your shoulder.” This stuff wasn’t too hard to remember since my dad regularly umpired my Little League games.

The bat was now cocked and ready to connect. It’s a fastball. You swing with all your might. At the crack of the bat, a deep fly ball goes to left field and over the fence. Home run!

That’s how it always happened in my dreams anyway. I never got to hit a home run in real life. If life were like a game of baseball, you would hope for a home run scenario every time. But in reality, there are some curveballs, knuckleballs, change-ups and quite possibly some spitballs thrown into the mix to make things more challenging. But challenges are part of the game, regardless of whether you’re playing t-ball, Little League, or the Majors. Challenges can also take you off-course, but don’t let them. They’re usually building blocks for something greater––something too fast to see when they’re coming at you at ninety miles an hour.

A Game of Baseball, from the book,
Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography by Jason Landry.

Instant Connections featured in Portsmouth Herald

Seacoast native makes ‘Instant Connections’

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By Robert Levey
January 21, 2014 2:00 AM

PORTSMOUTH — Jason Landry, a 1991 Portsmouth High School graduate, will sign copies of his recently published book, “Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography,” on Feb. 7 at the New Hampshire Art Association Gallery.

Weaving essays, interviews, quotes and autobiographical stories around a central theme of photography, the book includes a wide range of secondary themes that include how to make connections and build one’s own personal network. It also features interviews with renowned artists such as Vik Muniz, Leonard Nimoy and Harold Feinstein, and quotes from various artists and collectors. Perhaps just as interesting as the book itself, however, is why Landry wrote it.

“When I was in college, there were a lot of critical theory books on photography that I was forced to read,” he said. “I decided to write a book that was anti-critical theory —— a book that shares real stories of a photographer, photography collector and gallery owner.”

Noting that it goes against every book on the subject he has ever read, he said he also wanted to write something that addresses the business end of art.

“Many art colleges don’t teach artists how to market and sell what they create,” he said. “They don’t teach them about building and creating an art network of peers to help them connect to the world, or how to go about creating their personal brand. You could be the greatest artist, but without some of these business skills, you will struggle to go anywhere in the art world.”

As for how Landry has made it in the art world — he is the owner and director of Panopticon Gallery in Boston — he said he was fortunate enough to work in business before earning his art degrees. He said he also received some help along the way.

“Once I left that career behind to walk the path of an artist, I had mentors who guided me down the right paths in order to avoid pitfalls,” said Landry, who noted all of these mentors appear in his book. “Without them, I don’t know if I would have stuck with it.”

In reflecting on what led him to initially develop an interest in photography, he cited his first photography class at Portsmouth High School. From that point on, he said, he was in “hook, line and sinker.”

“I always gravitated toward the arts, but when I was able to develop and print my own images in the darkroom, it was the first time that I felt in control of an art medium,” he said. “I never really felt in control or comfortable with what I drew to what I painted.”

Drawing inspiration from that class, he said his earliest photographs were of Portsmouth and Greenland, as he captured images related to the landscape, apple orchards and friends. He said his most memorable work from his high school days, though, was a black and white photograph he took of “a perfectly planted row of pine trees” in his back yard.

“It was the second image on the first roll of black and white film that I ever developed,” he said. “I have that photograph framed and hanging in my living room amongst my collection.”

In electing to donate 50 percent of all book sales to the NHAA during the reception and book-signing event next month, Landry said it is important he maintain roots in a town that still means a great deal to him.

“My wife and I like to give back, especially to art organizations that we feel are doing great things for their community,” he said. “I know firsthand how hard it is to manage, especially in a economy that hasn’t been so friendly to us over the past couple of years. … It’s great to have an organization like this in Portsmouth and a gallery space that has been around for a while.”

The book-signing event is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at NHAA’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St. For information about NHAA, call 431-4230 or e-mail To learn more about Landry or Panopticon Gallery, call (617) 267-8929 or e-mail at

The Boston Globe and Instant Connections

“Jason Landry…an irreverent and irrepressible presence.”

I’m grateful to Jan Gardner and The Boston Globe for featuring my book Instant Connections in their Sunday edition. Someone told me that they almost never review books that are ‘indie’ or ‘self-published’.  Well, for those authors out there that were worried about that……..things are looking up!

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