Combine beautiful Hamptons settings, world-famous photographers, and the biggest names in fashion and film and you have a glimpse into the world of Jenny Landey. With her company of 25 years, Jenny Landey Productions + Locations, she has scouted and produced shoots in some of the most iconic East End locations used in print, television, and film.
A desire to leave her former world of magazines, ad agencies, and production companies in Manhattan to move full time to the Hamptons led her to create her own career path.
“The best part of the job for me is it’s never the same. Every shoot is different,” said Landey. “It connects me to the community where I live, and I get to work with incredible, creative people.”
Last summer, Landey was contacted by Annie Leibovitz’s team for a Vogue cover shoot of Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman, who is starring in the new season of “The Crown.”
“They had a concept of something rustic to offset the perception of the role of the Queen of England with something less formal,” Landey recounted. “One thing came to mind, which is this 18-acre former girls’ camp in the Springs where I’m the exclusive location agent.”
The team honed in on the interior of a barn which had a very bohemian vibe as well as a rocky beach with vistas to Gardiner’s Island. The crew all got along famously and, Landey said, “Hair stylist Sally Hershberger took everyone out on her boat at the end of the shoot, and it made everyone’s day.”
Landey has worked with clients including Design Within Reach, Victoria’s Secret, J. Crew, and Ralph Lauren. Typically, they will reach out with their vision and parameters and she will send links to various locations. She is constantly scouting new places. She tells the story of a scout for a Chanel commercial directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Landey said, “They were looking for an ultimate modern beach house. Nothing I had worked, but I had seen this stunning Sagaponack home and called the architects and begged them to put me in touch with their client. Because it was a prestigious shoot with a healthy location budget, it did work out, and it was really exciting.”
Another favorite shoot was for GQ Magazine with Jeff Bridges. “He was as charming and fun as one would expect,” said Landey. “My friend Madeline Weeks styled the shoot, and we shot it at a great eclectic house at Ditch Plains in Montauk. Jeff is also an artist, and at the end of the shoot, he drew on a table with a Sharpie and signed it, with the owner’s permission of course.”
There was also the story of a feel-good shoot with Christy Turlington by the legendary lensman Kurt Markus for Tiina The Store in Amagansett. “Ten percent of the profits of the line of cashmere sweaters being shot are going to benefit Christy’s charity Every Mother Counts, a most worthwhile cause,” commented Landey.
“Another fun shoot was with my photographer friend Pamela Hanson who shot Susan Sarandon on location at a modern home in Amagansett designed by Joe D’Urso. We needed a prop car for the shoot, sort of a ‘Thelma and Louise’ moment, and we used Nancy Atlas’s 1969 Cadillac El Dorado convertible. I love sourcing as many things as possible locally.”
Over the years, Landey has earned the respect not only of her clients but of the homeowners she represents. Every detail is considered, from putting down protective floor covering to wearing booties. She even does a walk-through to identify pre-existing damage (think walking around a rental car to note any dings before you take it off the lot.)
Another key relationship is with the various town and village agencies which regulate permitting. Each hamlet has different rules depending on the scope of the production. Landey also lobbies the townships on behalf of the locations’ business, “I point out these shoots are a great source of revenue using local talent, hotels, catering, and rentals.”
The variety of locations may also surprise people said Landey. “It’s not all privet and shingles. Parts of Montauk look like Scotland. We did a shoot at a rock quarry in Wainscott with Steven Klein and it looked like the moon. I’ve worked with ‘Billions’ at a Bates Masi house in Bridgehampton which doubled for L.A. They superimposed hills in the background.”
Landey admitted, “The hard part is keeping all the balls in the air, communicating with the townships, and keeping the home owner and clients happy.”
Landey also has her real estate license with Sotheby’s. “I had been representing locations for 25 years and developed close personal relationships with homeowners. It dawned on me a couple years ago there were so many similarities with real estate. It’s been a nice relationship between the two careers.”
“Location, location, location” you could say is pretty much her life motto.