I guess my facination and passion for photography began when I was about 5 years old. At the time my family was living in Manhatten on the corner of Mott and Houston Streets. As a kid I can remember my father taking pictures with his Kodak Brownie camera(this camera now resides in my collection). I can also remember me bothering him to let me use the camera. The answer was always the same. "No, you are too young." I guess my persistance finally paid off. they bought me a cheap Satelite 127 camera when I was about 6 or 7. I still have this camera. The funny thing is that I can remember only taking one photo with this camera. It was a photo of my mother and 2 sisters in front of our brand new 1964 Pontiac Catalina at the location of our new house's foundation in Old Bridge New Jersey. It was at this point that I took an early retirement from photography. It wasn't until 1969 that I really became interested in photography. It was the summer of '69 and my friend down the street just got a small B&W developing kit with some pre-exposed negatives. I can still remember standing in his laundry room watching the images appear in a tray of developer. At that point in my life, that was the neatest thing I had ever seen. So that christmas my parents bought me a developing kit. Some months after that, I bought an enlarger and began furnishing my darkroom. During my high school days at Saint Mary's in South Amboy, photography was just a hobby. I guess I was too busy playing basketball, chasing girls and counting down the days when I would get my driver's licence. It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I decided, by accident, what I would do with the rest of my life. On a rainy Sunday afternoon in January, I was filling out my application to Middlesex County College. As I sat there with a painful knee, a result of an injury during the fall 1973, I realized that I would never play point guard for the New York Knicks. The only other thing that interested me was photography. I found that in the Marketing Art and Design curriculum at MCC. After 3 years at the county college (I attended an extra year to take some graphic design couses) I found myself in the working world shooting real estate for a studio in Elizabeth New Jersey. After that I had a few jobs including a job as a lab technician at a large pharmaceutical company and a photographers assistant. It wasn't until I got a job at Freese Camera in New Brunswick that my photographic career began to take a better path. It was there that I made the connections that would launch my career as a sports photographer. It was during this time that I began free lancing. Initially shooting weddings and other events. In 1989 I left Freese Camera and began a free lance career. In 1991 I began doing photography for Rutgers University Athletics. It was here that I was able to put into practice all the techniques I had learned from my previous jobs. Of course Rutgers had never seen this level of photography which is why I was there for 15 years. The last 5 of which on the full time staff. In the summer of 2006, due to severe state budget cuts to higher education, I became unemployed. Fortunately, I had made enough contacts around the state to continue shooting sports and public relations for many other New Jersey colleges. My photos have appeared in numerous publications including Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine.
Graduated Saint Mary's High School in South Amboy- Class of 1974.
College Education - Middlesex County College Class of 1977, Associates Degree in Professional Commercial Photography.
1977-1978- Bogard Studios in Elizabeth, New Jersey. real estate, wedding, event and portrait photography.
1978-1979- Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals in Summit, New Jersey. Lab Technician/photographer.
1979-1984- Photographer's assistant for Frank Peluso Photography. Also worked for North Brunswick Camera, photo retail.
1984-1989- Freese Camera in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Lab Technician/Retail sales.
1989-present- Began my own business-Larry Levanti Photography.
2001-2006- Rutgers University Athletics Department. Staff photographer.
2006-present- Resumed full time free lance photography.
I have been a teacher of the photographic arts since 1980.
I began teaching at Middlesex County College teaching basic photography on an adjunct basis.
I have also taught photography at many adult education programs in the area.
Some of the courses I have taught include basic and advanced photography as well as some specialized photo classes.