A native New Yorker, Leland has been a professional photographer for over 35 years. His work spans both the fine art and commercial worlds and has been shown in galleries and utilized by advertising agencies internationally. He first picked up a camera in his 20’s and began to photograph the gritty streets of New York City in the mid 1970’s. Eighteen of those images are now in the permanent collection at the Museum of the City of New York. He is also represented in the permanent collection at the Center for Photography at Woodstock.
In addition to his commercial portrait work Leland devotes much of his time to shooting personal projects, most of which involve the people and sights of the city of New York. His project titled Half-Drag that explored gender fluidity went viral and appeared on hundreds of websites in over thirty countries around the world. His award winning portraits of New York City Neo-Burlesque performers culminated in a three-month exhibit at the Museum of Sex. Other projects include black and white portraits of musicians over the age of 50, street portraits of New York City Hardhats and the Women of Fifth Avenue.
“I find my influences come from a state of mind fueled by rock and roll, Miles Davis and great films. In my work I strive for boldness and simplicity. When shooting portraits, although the subjects vary greatly, I always direct them in a similar way; which I think reflects my personality. I find the photos that might make me a bit nervous and uncomfortable to shoot are often my best."
Clients Include: American Express, Bell South, Bravo, Citibank, Compaq, Dupont, History Channel, Humana Healthcare, Hyatt Hotels. Key Bank, Lotus, MCI, Met Life, Pace University, Palisades Insurance Company, Pfizer Inc., Sprint, Tecate Beer, Toshiba, Tropicana, United Parcel Service, U.S. Cellular, Visa
Awards Include: Black and White Spider Awards, One Eyeland Awards, Mobile Photo Awards, International Color Awards, Best of ASMP, The World Photography Gala Awards, XTO Nude Image Awards, London International Creative Awards, London Photographic Awards, Corbis Bettman Archives, International Aperture Awards, Double Exposure Photographic Awards, Graphis Photography Annual Awards