Jon Reis

My thirty-five years as professional photographer has enabled me to have a studio and photo gallery in historic downtown Ithaca just west of the Ithaca Commons. This is where I work daily and exhibit my social documentary photography of American lifestyles and my new work, "Aviation Anthropology" the micro-culture of aviation enthusiasts. My website has many examples of my work.

I will not be open on Open Studio Weekends.

(Note: This studio is one of three who are not open on Open Studio weekends. The three are Jon Reis, June Szabo and Raven Barn Studio)




102 W. State Street, Suite 201, Ithaca, NY 14850


9:00 am - 5:00 pm or by appointment.


My studio is located in historic downtown Ithaca, on the corner of West State and North Cayuga Streets, across the street from the State Theatre, above Handwork Cooperative gallery.  


I grew up looking the iconic photo magazines such as LIFE and LOOK and was enthralled each week with the powerful storytelling images found inside. In college I studied the history of photography and picked up a camera and completed a photo documentary project on the demise of the small independent Ohio farm. I graduated with a BA in sociology and never stopped photographing people and lifestyle. As photojournalist for the Ithaca Journal, I reported for the paper and at the same time created social documentary photographs for myself. It seemed to work.

I embraced the street photography movement popular in the seventies and started a fascinating journey of documenting American culture and lifestyle which appeared monthly in American Demographics Magazine. I broadened my experience by doing intensive workshops with Charles Harbutt, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and Ralph Gibson and learned to make fine art B&W silver prints from George Tice. I sustained myself throughout the 80’s and 90’s by taking assignments from corporate clients and from magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Business week, Black Enterprise, and Progressive Architecture.

I have been fortunate to receive several grants and awards for my social documentary photography while building up a commercial photography business over 35 years.

Today, I am working on several social documentary art projects that can be seen on my web-site alongside my commercial work. My latest series, “Aviation Anthropology," is a continuation of a New York State Council on the Arts grant I received in 1986 to photograph small airport environments. Another on-going series is called “By the Way,” a look at American culture through people, landscape, and architecture. All of my photos are strong story telling images. My studio is a comfortable place talk about photography and see my work on display. Please call first so I can plan for your visit.

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