Photographer Feature: Joe Valencia (@valencia32photo)

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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 Joe Valencia and I have lived in Monmouth County all my life. I have lived in Long Branch, Oceanport, Eatontown and, for the last 27 years, Neptune.

My favorite “hometown” spot to shoot is Shark River Park — right in my own backyard. 

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

1. Maclearie Park in Belmar is an incredible sunset spot.

Want more sunset spots? Check out our map!

2. Manasquan Reservoir is great. 

3. Deep Cut Gardens never disappoints.

Want more gardens? Check out our gardens and arboretums guide!

What's your camera setup?

I am currently using a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with Canon EF-S 18-135mm & EF-S 55-25mm lens.

I have my old Canon 85mm f/1.2L and Sigma 400mm f/5.6 from my 35mm days that I take out every once in a while and shoot with an adapter.

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

Well…. I have always dreamed of owning a Hasselblad! If money were not an object I would get a Hasselblad digital camera and full complement of lenses. That aside, I would really like to have a Canon 5D Mark IV.

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

I haven’t gotten to Buttermilk Falls yet but think getting a killer image of that with snow and ice would be incredible.

Do you dream of waterfalls too? Check out our waterfalls map, best waterfalls spots guide, and photo guide to capturing them!

One tip for aspiring photographers?

If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no shortcuts in photography. – Edward Weston

To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. – Harry Callahan

What's your favorite part of being a photographer?

This might be the toughest question.... Someone once said to me, "Love that your eye sees the amazing potential in the ordinary, and we all get to see it too!" That, to me, is what photography is all about. I also find it very rewarding to volunteer as an event photographer for events like the Monmouth County Pancreatic Cancer Walk — people really appreciate the photos and I get to do what I love.
joe valencia
Joe Valencia
NJspots Community Member & Writer

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

NJspots is a growing community. By sharing you can help.

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