About Frank

“Freedom Day”

Welcome to frankleonard.com.  My full name is Frank Jay Leonard, son of Gloria and Frank A Leonard, both now gone.  I have a sister two years younger than myself, Nancy.  I was born in Santa Cruz, California, in December of 1946.  As a teenager I explored many different activities, including photography, astronomy, building a short wave radio, raising homing pigeons, fishing and hunting with my Dad, playing baseball, and working on cars.  Two of those hobbies, photography and astronomy, have followed me all these years, to my present age of seventy-five.

Here is a brief outline of some of the highlights in my seventy-five years of living:

  • Grew up in Santa Cruz, California – As an adolescent I explored many different hobbies, including photography, astronomy, raising homing pigeons, building a short wave radio, fishing and hunting with my Dad, playing baseball, and working on cars.
  • Graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1964
  • Studied for the Lutheran ministry 1965-1973
  • Married in 1970, helped in the raising of our two incredible sons, Josh and Seth.
  • Ordained into the Lutheran ministry in July of 1973, serving as an Associate Minister and Youth Minister in Monterey, California from 1973 to 1976.
  • Served as pastor and worker-priest at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in San Francisco, 1976 to 1980
  • Served as youth pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco 1980-1990
  • Pastor of a House Church in San Francisco 1980 to 1983 
  • Arrested, along with 1000 others, in protest of nuclear weapons development at the Lawrence Livermore Labs, spent nine days in jail, 1983
  • Public elementary school teacher in San Francisco  1986 -1993 
  • Youth Pastor, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco  1990 – 1998
  • Cross country motorcycle trip from San Francisco to St. Paul, Minnesota, and then, on my way back home, retracing exactly the path of Robert Pirsig in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” from St. Paul to San Francisco  1997
  • Left the ministry (after 25 years in the ministry), the church, and my first marriage (of twenty-eight years)  1998
  • Public middle school teacher in San Francisco  1993 – 2000
  • Public middle school grade level counselor  2000 – 2008 
  • Married my beloved Joyce  2002
  • Cross countries motorcycle trip from San Francisco to Guanajuato, Mexico and back   2003 
  • Published my first book “Expansion,” an autobiography  (See Writings and Publications)  2004
  • Retired from public education  2008
  • Developed Frank Leonard Photography business, in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California  2008 – 2019
  • Built a roll back roof astronomical observatory on my property  2015
  • Converted my pickup truck into a full bed, popup camper for road trips with Joyce, and astronomy and photography outings on my own  2018 – 2019 
  • Retired from photography as a business in July 2019 – No more hiring myself out as a photographer – I continue to love and practice photography, and still have a beautiful, physical photography gallery on our property. 

For eleven years I identified myself as being a photographer, wanting to build a successful business, and to be recognized.  As of July 2019 I choose to no longer operate under the umbrella of Frank Leonard Photography.  I no longer see myself as a photographer named Frank Leonard, but as Frank Leonard, who has many passions, which include photography, astronomy, travel, playing my ukulele and songwriting, working on our property, visiting my children and grandchildren, writing, publishing, and having more time to work and play alongside my beloved wife, Joyce.  I still have the gallery I built here on our property and welcome those who want to come and see my expressions of art.  If someone would like to have one of my photographs for their home or work space, I am open to helping that happen, but sales and success and recognition are no longer guiding my radar.  Photography, like all my other passions, is something I do for myself.  This website is really being built for me as well, for me to be able to reflect these new understandings of who I am as a person into the expressions I create, in spaces for others to enjoy as well.  

I live in the San Lorenzo Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, with my beloved wife Joyce, Leo our cat, and eight chickens.  If you are interested in visiting my photography gallery or have an interest in seeing one of my photographs framed and on your wall, or as a greeting card or print, or have any questions of me, simply email frank@frankleonard.com  – It would be a privilege to connect with you and/or to welcome you here in these beautiful mountains. 

Thank you for visiting!