Bookshelf: Steven Begleiter’s New Book – Leaving Cleveland

by | Feb 21, 2023 | ASMP Bookshelf

Steven Begleiter’s new book – Leaving Cleveland, a fictional memoir – is available now.

Book Summary

Aspiring photographer, Sam Cohen, knows there must be more to life than helping his father run the family business in Cleveland, Ohio. He sets off for New York City and stumbles into an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the celebrity and art world of the 1980’s.

He apprentices with “Johnny Strand the Photo Man” in his wacky commercial studio.  Sam gets his big break a year later when he becomes the assistant to the world-famous photographer Izzy Teivel.

It is an auspicious start for Sam but reality sets in and dysfunction prevails. Izzy is revered by her fans, clients, and subjects but is unrealistically demanding to everyone, especially Sam, who finds himself questioning his choices and sanity.

The pressure nearly causes a nervous breakdown manifesting as nightmares of his father’s past as a survivor of the death camps during the WWII Holocaust. Sam’s guilt in leaving his family behind is triggered by Izzy’s portrait assignment photographing the famous Jewish writers Elie Wiesel and I.B. Singer for Vanity Way magazine. Morally conflicted, Sam has to decide whether to return to Cleveland to help his estranged father and overprotective mother or to stay in New York City and pursue his dreams.

Praise for Leaving Cleveland

“I could not put down Leaving Cleveland, Steven H. Begleiter tells an intoxicating story of an innocent young man’s journey into a foreign and magical universe, which takes surprise turns and leads to enchanting encounters with some fo the biggetest celebrities and names in history. This is a must read. Can’t wait to see the movie…”



“With an unerring eye for the right details, Steven H. Begleiter has managed to capture a whole fascinating era in American culture. Funny, enlightening, and filled with expressive anecdotes. Leaving Cleveland takes us to a great destination.”


See community review at


To purchase Leaving Cleveland ebooks, go to Amazon or BookBaby.

The preorder for paperback and hardback will be available by the end of next week.


About the Author

Steven H. Begleiter is a noted American photographer, born in Cleveland, Ohio. He has published five books on or about photography (Begleiter Books). His first photography book, Fathers and Sons, Abbeville Press 1989, was a commercial and critical success launching career as a much sought out portrait photographer.

Leaving Cleveland is his sixth book and first book of fiction.

He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is an adjunct professor of photography at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana.

He earned his degree in Photojournalism from Kent State University.

His photography has been published internationally and his artwork is collected and exhibited in galleries.

To learn more, go to: and to learn more about his book Leaving Cleveland subscribe to his blog at Leaving Cleveland Blog.