JSP Visual Week In Review | 04.19.14

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Annnndddd….life as we now it – at least around my little section of the Great State of New Jersey – is about to get back to my normal.

By dinner time today, my wife and little girl will be home for their week-long trip to Florida. And my week with the Krajnak Boys will be over.

It’s been a good week with the boys. We settled in nicely after a rough first couple of days (if I had a nickel for every time I hear When’s Mommy coming home?….) Overall it was a great week, though a weird weather one: It was 85 here last Sunday, snowed overnight on Wednesday night, and will be almost 70 today.

I give all the credit to the stay-at-home parents out there. While I knew this before, it was reinforced that your job is challenging, tiring, but yet fulfilling. Especially with young kids like my guys are – it’s a constant state of on-the-go-keep-them-intrigued-and-entertained.

My buddy complained about his job in NYC this week, and I countered with how it was a tiring day on my end because the boys didn’t nap. He said “You sound like my wife.” Maybe I did, and I can definitely relate to the stresses of both jobs.

One thing this week did afford me was the opportunity to shoot every day, and to test out a new off-camera lighting system (hopefully more on that soon.)

This week was a break from the norm for me. Time to get back to the relative routine.

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This Week’s Links:

* Happy 50th Anniversary to my favorite convenience store, Wawa.

* Lots of discussion about The Guardian’s use of this photo. What are your thoughts?

* Very nice portraits, in Ghana, here from Gary S. Chapman.

* From the NY Times: The Woman and The Giant.

* From Lewis PR: How To Tell Compelling Data-Driven Stories.

* Bill Cunningham’s Vintage NY.

* Josh Haner, Tyler Hicks win 2014 Pulitzer Prizes for Photography.

* From TIME: Vancouver, Circa 1948

* “A photograph is not an accident – it is a concept. It exists at, or before, the moment of exposure of the negative.” - Ansel Adams

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

Friday Noir: Tie It Off

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Either you’re ready or you’re not.

Decide.

Right now.

The only currency we have in this bankrupt world is to be honest and unmerciful.

We wait for the silence that never comes,

And we keep on livin’ out of sheer habit.

Time is now to tie this off.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

BTS With Bruno Barbey

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“And when Hernri said to me….”

Time Flies.

Hard to believe that it’s already been two months since I was in Cape Town, South Africa, overseeing a two-week editorial photo shoot.

Also hard to believe it’s been two months since I got the great chance to work with, watch work, and learn from Magnum photographer Bruno Barbey.

I’ll be brutally honest. I wasn’t too familiar with Bruno or his work before I learned I’d be working with him. My ignorance towards great photographers is nothing new. Back in 1999, I had no clue who Joe McNally was before embarking on a two-week shoot with him. Now I consider him a close friend, one who was even at my wedding. But I digress…

The way it happened, BBDO, the agency we were partnering with for this shoot, suggested a short list of four photographers for the job: Bruno, David Allan Harvey, Marcus Bleasdale and McNally.

I know, right?

Hard to go wrong with any of those shooters. As it turned out, Bruno got the nod above the others in this line up. I think we would have been happy with any of these four (though, frankly, I thought Marcus was the odd man out here. I know his work pretty well and just wasn’t sure this type of editorial shoot was up his alley.)

Prior to heading to South Africa, I had the chance to speak with Bruno on the phone after he was awarded the job. He was very open to what our photographic standpoint and style guide is, and had some good ideas about what to shoot once we got there.

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My first meeting with him (and his lovely wife Caroline) was at breakfast on Sunday morning. Yes, sure, he’s a bit older than that photo of him on the Magnum site, but he’s got a great face. And he was the one with the Canon 5D Mark III on the table next to him. Yes, he wasn’t shooting with Leica’s on this trip. In fact, I never saw him pull them out. Instead, he was digital Canon all the way.

I introduced myself (technically, I was “the client”) and sat down for breakfast with him and Caroline. By this time, I had done enough reading up on him that I was slightly awed to be chatting with him. But I quickly found him warm and inviting. And, after he found out about my love of photography, he really opened up, discussing his past work and how to make my work better.

Of course, my role on this job was to serve as, yes, the client, but also art director, making sure we got what we needed. I also like to documented the behind-the-scenes scenes as well. For my own enjoyment, but also for the team back at the ranch. I like to show them what goes into one of our photoshoots.

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“Anticipate. Always anticipate.”

That was the best piece of advice he gave me. We were walking along the street in Camps Bay, heading to our shoot site on the beach. But even on the way there, Bruno was shooting. He couldn’t let a photographic opportunity go by him. Whether slyly shooting from the hip, or engaging an older couple to shoot their portrait, he loves photography. That much was clear.

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And I loved to see it. I’ve traveled and worked with “pros” who only pulled out a camera when it was time to get down to business. We’d be traveling through European cities and they were just sit there. I never understood how they turned it on and off like that. Then again, in looking back, I realize the portraits my company paid the for had no passion in them them. They were staid and boring in retrospect. Photography was their business and they were adept at it. But maybe it wasn’t their passion any more.

With Bruno, the passion to make photos was there. On the job or off, he was shooting. Always shooting.

I don’t remember exactly when Bruno named-dropped Henri Cartier-Bresson to me. Maybe he did it on purpose. Maybe it wasn’t anything. Caroline, Bruno’s wife, is a film maker and interviewed HCB just before he passed away. It was clear to me that Henri was a colleague and peer so maybe it wasn’t anything (one of the BBDO team thought he did it just to impress me.) Whatever. I’m not going to think about that much. I just know that it was great to work with Bruno, have him instruct me at times, and enjoy his passion for photography.

Just before we left, Bruno knocked on my hotel door and gave me a book of his photos. And a nice signature as well. I’m honored to have it.

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I’m also honored to have met and worked with Bruno. I hope we’ll stay in touch. I do owe him an email, especially now that we’ve made our final selects from the shoot. My lasting memory of Bruno, though, will be him shooting.

Always shooting.
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Good advice whether you’re a Magnum photographer or a mug from New Jersey.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

Weekend Shot: Summer’s Comin’

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The adventure started Saturday around 6:30 a.m.

It was then that my wife and little girl – along with her parents and my niece – fired up our Honda Odyssey and embarked on road trip to Florida. Time to visit Grandma.

So, for the next week, it’s me and the boys. I’ll work from home and take care of them along with way.

I’ve done this before – watching the boys – a couple of times but usually only for three to four days. It was about a year ago when they were under my charge and things didn’t go so well.

But I don’t foresee any such problems this week. We’ll take it easy, not get into trouble.

Grocery shopping on Saturday, though, I had to get the boys some watermelon. We sat outside under the warm morning sun and enjoyed it.

Summer’s coming, definitely.

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Boys Week + Watermelon + Warm Summer Sun = This Weekend Shot

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

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