Photographer Feature: Jimmy Kastner (@jimmykastner)


Once a week, we interview one of our Patrons or a photographer from our Slack community on!

We hope that you learn a new spot or new camera setup!


Who are you, and where in New Jersey are you from?

My name is Jimmy Kastner and I am a New Jersey native. I was born and raised in Monmouth County, living most my life in Morganville. My wife, Kristin, and I moved out to Somerville before getting married and after five years there, we’re now in Califon. We covered a lot of ground over the years!

What are the three best spots for photography in New Jersey, and why?

I would have to say my favorite New Jersey spots are wandering Sandy Hook around sunset, Ken Lockwood Gorge in the winter, and early mornings at the Delaware Water Gap in the autumn.

Sandy Hook was a place I remember fondly from my childhood and visiting always takes me back, Ken Lockwood Gorge is close to my new home and a nice quiet place to relax, and the Delaware Water Gap has so many hidden gems with lots of photo opportunities for early risers.

What's your camera setup?

Right now I primarily shoot with a Canon 5D Mk IV and use my new favorite toy, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro for aerials. My favorite lens is my 24-7 f/2.8

What's your dream piece of gear? Think big!

I’m not sure this all counts as gear, BUT it is big. I have this far-fetched idea to build a lookout tower in my backyard to clear the tree line so I could have a sweet astrophotography setup… Though, I’ll settle for a nice telescope on the deck.

What's one bucket list photo of New Jersey you haven't gotten yet?

Oh man, I have a lot. But I do want to shoot all the NJ lighthouses. That would also help me cover a lot of ground to see much of South Jersey, which I don’t visit as often.

We have a map for that!

One tip for aspiring photographers?

Don’t worry about equipment at all. Start small and build up to the gear that works for what you like photographing. And shoot everyday… especially when you don’t feel like it. It helps you find your stride. 

What's your favorite part of being a photographer?

I think it's great that no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I can photograph it. Every snapshot is a souvenir of a moment in time. And when the light is just right, those moments become cherished memories.

“Photographer Feature” is an ongoing segment featuring our Patrons and Slack community members. Contact editor Abbey Dufoe for more information.

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