East Hampton Patch recently caught up with Jenny Landey, who runs , which is based in East Hampton. With thousands of East End locations on file for its productions, Landey also offers maritime coordination, location management, casting location scouting and permitting assistance. With clients like Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Vogue and Cole Haan, she's very much in demand.
Q: How did you get started?
I started producing photo shoots in 1997 by chance. My good friend Kelly Klein suggested that I work for a company that did photo production, long before it was even a recognized line of work. I had spent a very long time before that working at magazines and advertising agencies, and it seemed like a good fit.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face as an East Hampton business owner?
The seasonal nature of my business poses one of the biggest challenges. Most of the fashion shoots I produce, or secure locations for, shoot during the summer season in our area, so a lot has to get done in a short amount of time. On any given week I might have 4 or 5 shoots taking place.
Q: What are the trends in your business?
The trends change each season. Some seasons modern homes seem to get the majority of the bookings, and other times, it's all about weather-worn and authentic classic homes or barns and farms. Very hard to know in advance. Owners often touch base with me in the spring to gage how many shoots they might anticipate at their homes or properties, and it's a question that's always hard to answer.
Q: What advice to you have for someone starting a business? Or what is the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Keep your overhead as low as possible and be prepared for very long hours. The flexibility of running your own business is tremendous, as is the responsibility. My father gave me the best advice when I was starting out and thought I needed a partner to help with some aspects of the business I felt I wasn't prepared to handle — he told me to find the best person I can and pay them well for their work, and that partnerships can be tricky.
Q: Do you have any future plans for your business?
I've seen a lot of competition over the years in my industry, which is a niche business. My future plans are to stay on course and continue to find great locations for print shoos, films and events. I have expanded into event production and hope to grow that aspect of my business which has been focussed solely on photo shoots and film shoots.
Q: What do you like the least about your business or what would you change if you could?
Budget cuts are never fun for anyone in any business, it's particularly difficult as a producer. Clients want great food and great locations and luxurious hotels and when working with small budgets on some projects, I wish they would adjust their standards to more accurately reflect what we're working with.
Q: When do you hope to reitre and what do you plan to do in retirement?
Working seems to be in my DNA. No plans to retire anytime soon. I would like to spend more time on my boat and hope to carve out more free time in the future. Maybe one day when I have more time, I'll adopt a dog.
In this weekly feature, Patch highlights business owners from East Hampton, Montauk, Wainscott, Amagansett and Springs. If there is a business owner that you would like to see Patch interview, e-mail Taylor.Vecsey@patch.com or shout out the business name in the comment section below.