I am the most published early punk rock photographer on the West Coast. ~ Jenny Lens, MFA.
My famous, classic, beloved photos used by Joan Jett’s Rock Hall of Fame induction (on TV!), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, Smithsonian, Rock Hall of Fame, GRAMMY Museum, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, online and merch (often bootlegged).
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“The infamous Jenny Lens, supreme master of the punk rock photo.”
~ San Francisco Bay Guardian [And straight up rock too!]
“The was a time when Punk Rock was dangerous, man — in a cerebral way. And Jenny Lens was there to record it all.”
~ Garage Magazine
“Jenny Lens was not just one of the few photographers chronicling the early punk scene in both North America and London, she was also one of the few women working in a very male-dominated field. Her life is pretty fascinating and made up of the three acts usually associated with characters in movies and novels.” Adorama Camera.
After this text, you’ll see highlights, a tiny fraction of my most famous photos of very famous performers.
You can see and read more on my Buy Photo Prints page.
IF you want to learn from the best, or be photographed by the best, check out My Services page. I love to share secrets about photography, the business, marketing, and offer coaching too.
I took photos and conducted photo tours until the pandemic changed a lot of things. Read what I can still offer. Let’s make it work for you!
Clash are in Rock Hall of Fame. I was so honored so many of my photos in this fine book! Plus a special credit. Lots of photographers in this book and they chose to give ME “A Very Special Thank You”! Wow!
Rhino Records (and other record companies) used tons of my images for their punk releases. One of my most famous of my fave band, X. March, 1980.
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My acclaimed book, “Punk Pioneers” from major art publisher, Rizzoli/Universe.
So many copies were stolen from Los Angeles Library downtown LA branch. So they moved it to the Reference Department. Cannot check it out! Now that’s punk.
My Punk Pioneers cover, Debbie Harry, Blondie’s LA debut, the Whisky, Feb 1977. (in Rock Hall of Fame)
One of many magazine listings. This when Punk Pioneers was published. I’ve been interviewed many times through the years.
My photo graced Spin Magazine‘s obit when Dee Dee Ramone passed away. Dee Dee was one of THE sweetest people I ever met. We hung together during the Ramones first West Coast tour, August 1976. (in Rock Hall of Fame)
My photo graced Spin Magazine‘s obit when Joey Ramone passed away. I was asked to drive Joey, Arturo Vega (who designed Ramones graphics and merch) and Tomata du Plenty (lead singer of the Screamers, not yet performing) to Little Tokyo in LA. I saw this Kamen Rider standing on the sidewalk. I asked Joey to pose. Good times. Ramones second West Coast tour, Feb 1977. (in Rock Hall of Fame)
My photo graced Spin Magazine‘s opening image for last Johnny Ramone interview. I photographed him in San Francisco during the first Ramones West Coast tour, August 1976. (in Rock Hall of Fame)
I photographed Joey Ramone in “a seedy hotel off Van Ness” in San Francisco during the Ramones first West Coast tour, August, 1976. (in Rock Hall of Fame)
This photo was supposed to be in the Clash Official Book. Oops, I forgot to send it in. Sometimes I get depressed. hard doing this all alone, in debt. But The Clash! were AMAZING live! 16 Tons Tour, England, June 1980.
HUGE honor when MY photo of legendary icon, Alice Bag, was used in a travelling Smithsonian exhibit!! WOW!
Patti Smith called me “the girl with the camera eye.” Shouted from LA’s Roxy stage, pointing to me, Nov 15, 1976.
Patti told me “She still dares other photographers to take better photos than I.” The Roxy, August 2002. (in Rock Hall of Fame)
Iggy Pop told me my photos were as good as his photographer. He asked me where I’d been. I said, “Earning art degrees.” He smiled and nodded. I learned from artists. (in Rock Hall of Fame)
“How to Look Punk” in 1977 Hollywood on Lethal Amounts gallery and site magazine.
The following taken from their article, which included many of my photos and quotes from various sources:
“How To Look Punk” exclusively features photos by Jenny Lens, the premier photographer of the first wave of Los Angeles punk rock.
Lens, who shot from 1976-1980, knew how important it was to document the revolutionary fashions that were taking Hollywood Blvd by storm. She was there from literally beginning to end, and her work is the most crucial link in preserving the visual history and fashions of this era.
“I often photographed people based on their creative clothes, dancing, love of partying and posing, in a time when this was rare. The fans who migrated to the Hollywood shows often were colorful, vintage clothes from thrift stores or something they created themselves.” — Jenny Lens, an excerpt from her website, Punk Pioneers.
More fabulous photos of 1977 Hollywood punk style can be found in a lecture posted on YouTube by Jenny Lens, accompanied by a commentary slideshow. Mandatory viewing for anyone thirsty for knowledge about where this fashion came from and the characters that put it on the map.
Just a few of my cool punk pals, backstage, the Whisky, March 5, 1978. All became famous for performing, writing, hair stylist and one Oscar nominated Art Director!
My early Go-Go’s photo and many more in recent Showtime documentary on the Go-Go’s. Plus Under the Big Black Sun, Belinda’s memoir, Lips Unsealed, and more books. Another image on The View too! March 1980.
MY PHOTO of LA’s Screamers used for Metropolitan Museum of Art FASHION GALA! Punk: From Chaos to Couture! Centerfold of their hard cover exhibit catalog! May 28, 1977.
My Joan Jett photos were shown onstage when she was inducted into Rock Hall of Fame. Here’s just one in her solo book. Joan always had her own sense of style. With Johnny Rotten, Whisky, March 9, 1978. (Both are in Rock Hall of Fame)
Dueling Guitars, Joan Jett and Lita Ford, the Runaways, Whisky, August 27, 1977. One of my most popular, beloved and world famous photos. (Joan is in Rock Hall of Fame)
I love this Blondie at American Bandstand image because you rarely see behind the scenes photos. These fashions might look every day normal. But June 4, 1979, people did not dress like Blondie! All the members were fashion-forward. (in Rock Hall of Fame)