The subjects of Samuel's photography are the objects of his admiration and respect. The subjects, style, and composition are energetically influenced by the positive influences of his family, upbringing, surroundings, and positive experiences that have shaped his life. The character of Jay Samuel personifies the very highest of the qualities one anticipates from the very best citizens of the American Midwest... honest, down-to-earth, and genuine. The qualities of faith, family traditions, strong and consistent individual effort, and true neighborly friendliness certainly typify the life of this talented photographer/artist. Old fashioned attributes such as these originate from the very heart of the heartland and shine through brilliantly in the photography by Samuel. His enlightened vision to his surroundings leads to a thoroughly enthusiastic and successful portrayal of the people, architecture, nature, landscape, and traditional way of life of the classic American Midwest.

Samuel is the first to admit that his photography "chronicles" rather than "creates." Nature, wildlife, and spectacular scenery, etc. are all components of the creation already around us. Man-made objects like architecture, artifacts, antiques, and other fabricated items are the accomplishments of prehistoric, historic, and contemporary residents of the Midwest. Therefore, any "creativity" in the photography actually takes place for Samuel with his selection of subjects and in the decision making involved in the composition of the content of specific /respective photographs.

He Is a lifelong resident of Illinois; expressing the utmost love and admiration for the Land of Lincoln. Jay often affectionately and semi-humorously states he holds "dual citizenship" with Indiana. This is based on the countless explorations made across the Hoosier State, and the visits he so highly values with the down-to-earth citizens and folk he encounters "back home in Indiana." Samuel portrays the Midwest in its truest light derived from his rock solid respect and admiration for the people and landscape of the region.

Samuel actively presents the American Midwest to the local, regional, and national population with a thoroughly positive and nostalgic outlook. This fundamental and well grounded approach is in his heritage as gained from his ancestors, family and relatives, and through interactions with the general citizenry of the farms, rural areas, and small towns of the Midwest. Jay respectfully cites photographers Archie Lieberman (Illinois) Frank M. Hohenberger (Indiana) and Frank Sadorus (Illinois) as significant influences. Paul T. Sargent, the artist of landscape and still life paintings in Eastern Illinois and Brown County, Indiana is also very greatly appreciated.

The heartfelt ambition of Samuel is to best serve the viewers to and owners of his photography by instilling them with a well-founded and re-enforced love and admiration for the people, lifestyle, and land of the American Midwest, and then in turn, our great United States of America. For viewers to the content and overall superior quality of his photography, a gate is re-opened to welcomed and treasured memories. People are then motivated onward along a pathway to seek out and live life as it can and should be...

Educational attainment includes:

  • Associate of Arts Degree in Social Studies at the community college level
  • Bachelor of Arts In Social Studies; Eastern Illinois University
  • Master of Arts Degrees in American History; earned at Eastern Illinois University
  • Who’s Who Among Students In American Junior Colleges
  • National Honor Fraternity at the community college level, based on a academic accomplishment and personal character
  • Awarded an academic scholarship at the Masters level (based on previous GPA)
  • Served as a graduate research assistant
  • International Honor Society for History students while completing the Masters Degree at Charleston, Illinois
  • Has served as an instructor of Social Studies at the Secondary and Community College levels

Samuel is a published author of various articles; beginning at age twelve with an article in the Central States Archaeological Journal that described prehistoric stone artifacts recovered from a Native American habitation site dating to 4,000 B.C. in east central Illinois.

Samuel has many interests and pursuits including ...

  • Dedicated distance runner; enthusiastically competing in numerous races each year through the Midwest where he consistently wins his division, and sometimes is the overall winner of races. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and exploring.
  • Antiques, artifacts, geology, geneology, Indian pow-wows, and rodeos are samples of additional interests. The subjects of his photography are obviously very closely inter-related to his varied interests and pursuits.

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