Meet the Makers: Leo Sorel

What do you make / create?  I create photographs, and through that medium aspire to capture a moment in time, a scene, a face, or an emotion with wit and sensitivity. I work to reveal images that convey artistic vision balanced with technical flair and expertise.

What inspired you to be a maker?  Born and raised in New York City, I graduated from the High School of Music and Art and then pursued the study of photographic arts as a film student at the University of Wisconsin. Later, after landing a stint on a film shoot that took me to the Mediterranean assisting on promotional films for cruise lines, I traveled throughout Europe shooting stills. Inspired by the results, I decided to pursue still photography on a full-time basis.

What is your day job?  For thirty-something years, I have been a photographer by day (and often also by night). As a freelance photojournalist working for The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications, I have covered everything from political events and hockey games to jazz concerts, and have created portraiture of film and television stars like Nick Nolte, Sarah Jessica Parker and Snoop Dogg.

What is your connection to the neighborhood?  I moved to Cabrini Blvd. back in the late 1990s, and have lived here ever since. My wife, Suzy, a music therapist, along with my sons Walter and Adam, serve as frequent models. I don’t know how many black-and-white cookies I bought for my kids at Gideon’s when they were little, and it is weirdly delightful to now be showing my work right here where bakery cases once stood.

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