Labor Day is just like Memorial Day, but without the expectation and excitement.
All right, folks. Last stop of summer. Train will be in the station in a few minute. Gather up your belongs – bathing suits, picnic baskets, beach balls – and kindly depart the train. Exit to Fall.
It’s over. My favorite three-month span of the year. Here in the U.S., we’re heading into the long Labor Day weekend, which to me is the unofficial end of summer.
Sure, the weather in September is pretty great, and you can still have a nice day at the beach or the lake. But school starts, traffic gets worse, the general mindset changes, and the light gets sharper and flatter.
But what can you do. Time waits for no one, as they say. This has been a good summer for me. Had a lot of fun with the family, shot a lot of interesting people.
I guess the good thing about September rolling in is that I’ll be keeping busy. I have some good projects to work on at the 9-5 job, and will be speaking on a panel near the end of the month (more on that to come). And another in late October. And some of my work will be featured in a couple of upcoming books.
And, of course, things keep rolling with the family. Liv will head into 2nd grade, Chase will be in preschool and Matt will be a kind of pre-preschool program.
So there’s that. Time keeps rolling. Mornings are cooler. Leaves are changing.
But we keep clicking the shutter.
This Week’s Links:
* If you get a chance to watch this documentary, Grab a Hunk Of Lightning, on Dorothea Lange, do so. It was great.
* Still Moving, by Danny Clinch. Looks great. Christmas is coming…
* Good read via New Yorker: The Twilight Of Baseball.
* More great work from Gary S. Chapman.
* From TIME: How the selfie stick is killing the selfie.
* Absolutely beautiful version of Springsteen’s Downbound Train by Joe Pug.
* Good video by Daniel Norton on shooting noir, but I don’t know what I’d do with that type of gear. Maybe I should do one about using desk lamps.
* “Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gismos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn’t make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.” ~ Peter Adams
Earlier this week, August 26 actually, was National Dog Day. Though I spend a lot of time online, this day crept up on me and, sadly, I didn’t do anything to celebrate with my pups.
I’m a dog guy. Always have a been. Got bitten by one when was 7 or 8 and still that didn’t shake me. Had a poodle mix from hell when I was growing up – one of the snarliest dogs you’ve ever seen. Probably, though, he wasn’t trained correctly so that was probably our fault.
Then, my high school and college years saw me without a pooch. After college, living in a rented row house in South Philly with a buddy of mine, I got back on the dog track. Why?
We wuz robbed.
Yep, one steamy summer night, while we were asleep in our bedrooms upstairs, someone climbed into our screened-in window and stole our TV. Walked out the front door and left it open.
My roommate and I decided the next day we should have protection. A gun or a dog.
We didn’t really want to get a gun and dog was a much more fun option. So, we headed to the local pound and found one of the best dogs I’ve ever met. Mack.
Mack was a beagle mix with one of the best personalities I ever saw on a dog. Fun, funny, loving. He was the best. When I moved out, Mack came with me and was a constant companion for years. Heck, I broke up with girls because they didn’t dig on my dog Mack.
When Leslie and I moved out to San Francisco, though, Mack was getting on in years and didn’t make the move. He went to live with my parents where he spent the twilight of his years going for walks in the cool air of Northeast Pennsylvania. He passed away at 14 in 2008.
After moving back from San Francisco, I came home one day to find this furry little black and white ball of Shih Tzu puppy.
“Oh hello!” I said. And Bella promptly peed on the carpet.
She turned 10 this year, and we’re lucky she made it this long. Back in 2009, she was very sick, doctors didn’t think she’d pull through. But she’s tougher than we gave her credit for and she did. Now she’s the elder stateswoman of the house. She watches over everything, commenting very little. But she’s there and she’s our gal.
Next came our little spitfire, another Shih Tzu. Roxie Maybelline. She’s a cranky little pup, but never hurts anything. You scratch her belly and she grumbles and growls. But not in a mean way. That’s just her. She’s like an old man from Brooklyn who hasn’t had his coffee yet. (actually, my wife says she’s the canine equivalent of me. Or I’m the human equivalent of her. In any case….)
This two dogs are so much a part of the family. Our decision to go to Vermont, where I shot these portraits of Bella and Roxie, was based, in part, because they could come with us. And they enjoyed it up there, I think, even dipping their paws in Lake Champlain.
This week, while my wife and the kids were at the beach for a few days to enjoy the last week of summer, I dogsat my in-laws dog, Samson. He’s a Shih Tzu too, but bigger than my two girls. And still a puppy at just over a year.
Got me thinking it may be time to get Number 3.
Now to convince my wife….
For a while now, I’ve wanted to get a mailer done, something that I could send out to past or future clients, or as thank you for a photo shoot.
I finally stopped thinking about it and got around to getting something made. I wanted something simple, so a postcard was the way I wanted to go.
For my JerseyStyle Photography business cards, I have Moo.com do them. While there are a number of online sites that can do them, I’ve always been happy with the quality, customer service and, yes, cost of what Moo provides.
So, I decided to head back to Moo and get a short run of postcards done. Just four different images, full bleed, edge-to-edge. I wanted the images to portray what I like to shoot – portraits, noir, lifestyle.
On the back side, enough area to write a short note, my name and address and, of course, Johnny Cash stamps.
I couldn’t be happier with how they came out. They are sturdy and look great. And, it’s fun to actually WRITE a thank you note and mail it.
If you’re in the market for any kind of printed material that you can customize with your logo or photos, give Moo.com a look. I think you’ll be happy with what you find.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014
Another beautiful weekend here in the Great State of New Jersey. Saturday reminded us that Fall is coming (are we really in the last week of August now??) and Sunday was brilliant and sunny.
Late in the afternoon Sunday, after a trip to the playground and pond, the kids and I stopped again at the farm just up the road from us. Wanted to pick up some Jersey Fresh veggies for dinner (corn on the cob, tomatoes, etc.)
After we made our purchase, and were walking around to say hello to be big sow pig (Hambone), the goats and the sheep, I noticed this scene. Everyone pitches in to help out on the farm, doesn’t matter how old you are.
Actually, I’ve seen this gal cutting the grass often this summer. I think she enjoys it, frankly. Of course she won’t be doing any heavy lifting or toting on the farm, but wheel the John Deere around? Yeah, that she could do.
I liked the interplay of the greens and the blues here, the gathering dark clouds (which amounted to nothing) and the general scene. Almost left the camera in the truck; glad I didn’t.
Just after snapping a few frames, she waved, and steered the mower over to me, an put it in idle.
“Up at the stand….get the kids some lollipops,” she said.
I smiled and thanked her.
Granny, getting it done.
Local farm + beautiful colors + Granny on a tractor = This Weekend Shot
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014