Jeff Heyman Comes Full Circle with his First Love of Photography

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(Courtesy of Jeff Heyman)
Orinda photographer Jeff Heyman, seen here in self-portraits from 1976 and 2022, has his first solo exhibit at the Town Hall Theatre Gallery in Lafayette. His exhibit, “Triptychs,” featuring new work runs Oct. 3 to Nov. 18.

    After a diverse career that spanned the globe and even included a stint at the United Nations, Orinda resident Jeff Heyman is getting back to the passion of his youth – photography.
    He always intended to return to it when he retired, and in June 2021, the time finally came. A little over a year later, the City of Lafayette Public Art Committee selected Heyman to hold his first solo exhibition at their Town Hall Theatre Gallery.
    “Triptychs,” a collection of 36 photographs displayed in groups of three, runs Oct. 3 to Nov. 18, with an opening reception Sunday, Oct. 9, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Heyman describes the exhibit as a series of many potential narratives.
    “I had no stories in mind when I made the photos,” he said. “So, it is left up to the viewers to invent their own stories for each triptych.”
    All images are in black and white – Heyman’s preferred style.
    “I believe black and white photography is often more emotive than color,” he said. “It’s more about light and shadow. And it’s also more fun!”
    Heyman’s interest in photography began at San Ramon Valley High School, where a teacher, who had a profound influence on him, encouraged him.
    “He knew Ansel Adams and he [the teacher] spent a lot of time helping me develop my classic techniques,” said Heyman.
    After graduation, Heyman attended San Francisco State University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in fine art photography.
    Although there was a time when Heyman considered pursuing fashion photography, he said, “Life gets in the way. That didn’t work out and I had to bring in a paycheck.” Over the years, he worked at several different jobs, often incorporating photography into his responsibilities.
    In his most recent position as communications analyst for the City of Lafayette, he took photos of city council meetings and events to use in newsletters and social media.
    Ultimately, Heyman has no regrets about how his professional life unfolded.
    “I feel really good about how it’s worked out,” he said. “Heck, I’ve had a lot of fun and was able to take photos and use them to promote the city.”
    When he retired, people told him to make sure he had something to do. He took that advice to heart and founded his company, Outcasts Revisited Media LLC. In addition to communications consulting and fine art photography, he also hosts “Outcasts Revisited,” a radio show about classic punk rock and freelances as a photographer and writer for The Orinda News.
    Heyman shares how he feels about achieving recognition for his photography at this point in his life.
    “I’ve had photos in other exhibits over the years and I’ve won a few awards,” he said. “But having a solo show is very cool. Going back to my passion feels good. The neat thing is I am resurrecting things I learned. It feels as if this is what I should be 
doing.”

Kathy Cordova can be reached at khcordova@gmail.com.

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