Weekend Shot: iPlayed And Played

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_stinky feet2_040414_4124

Olivia turned seven earlier last week, but it was this weekend that we really celebrated the occasion.

We asked her what she wanted to do, and her request was to have her little friend, Jacob, sleep over. She also asked to go to a local place called iPlay America.

This is billed as an “indoor theme park.” Rides, games, an arcade, food stands, lights, music.

Kids find it fun. Parents find it a little expensive. You get an “iPlay credit card” that you put money on. Everything you want to do, you swipe the card and the credit come off. Once you’re depleted, you can recharge the card…or go home.

Liv and Jacob had a good time. Chase is still too small to ride many of the rides there. Matty as overwhelmed by it all.

I don’t know…not really my favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But for a lot of kids, that was just what the wanted to do. They had fun, I got out without too much financial damage.

Sunday morning, much more fun, at least to me – spent an hour and half with the kids at a cool playground.

Then back to the house for the blow-out-the-candles birthday party with the family.

Sometimes, tradition can’t be beat.

iPlay America + Kids + Saturday = This Weekend Shot

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

JSP Visual Week In Review | 04.05.14

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_WIR_040514

It was a week of newness this this past week.

A new baseball season started.

My little girl turned 7, a new year in her life.

And, while yesterday was raw and rainy, it does feel like spring is ready to breakthrough.

Things don’t stay the same in life, and that’s a good thing. I’m a weird combination of a creature of consistency and comfort and one who can’t sit still, needs to experience new things. Drives my wife crazy.

Last night, the local middle school hosted International Night. The kids could walk around to the different country tables, learn about the culture, and get their “passport” stamped. I stayed home with the boys, but Leslie and Liv went, sounded like a pretty cool event.

Before Liv went, though, she wanted me to write down all the places I’ve traveled too. Think it’s like 20 or 21 countries now.

And while that’s cool and all, close to home is where it’s at. Now that spring is coming, I’m looking forward to getting outside more, doing some projects around the house, exploring the beaches again.

I tried to explain to Liv that while travel is fantastic – and I know I’m blessed to have been able to do so much of it – the local is pretty cool too.

Wherever you are, keep an eye out for the local this week.

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This Week’s Links:

* Selfie dunk from a high school basketball player. And Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia.

* Hockey Photo of the Year?

* Interesting read, from the NY Times: Somewhere near Agloe, New York.

* Milton Glaser on beer bottle art.

* RIP Hobie.

* Pioneer Press Photo Staff To Shoot Exclusively With iPhones. (Note the date.)

* TIME’s guide to Spring/Summer Photo Books

* From NY Times Lens blog: Finding Chris Hondros.

* Joe Knows Window Light, too.

* Outtakes, from the LA Times’ Luis Sinco

* From Dan Bailey: Strive to Create, Not Capture

* Finally… Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba

* “Don’t be bitter. Be Better.” ~ Corey Booker

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

Little Fingers And Lucky 7′s

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Sept 2008

A pretty big day here in the Krajnak household today.

The literal embodiment of the smile on my face, my little girl Olivia, turns 7 today.

Seven. 7. Wow. SHM as the kids nowadays say (SMH = Shake My Head).

When Olivia was born back in 2007, we were like typical new parents, running around taking photos of everything she did.

But one of the things I did consciously start – as a happy accident though – was a project I call the Little Fingers Gallery Series.

Back in 2008, when Liv was just over a year old, I had been trying to shoot a still life of grapes on a plate.

Meh. Pretty boring as I look back at that exercise.

But while I was doing so, I saw this little pudgy hand creep into the frame to steal a grape.

It was like a light bulb went off: First, the inclusion of the hand made the image instantly more interesting to me and second, hey, this could be a new project for me to pursue!

So I did , and the Little Fingers Gallery Series was born.

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In 2010, withe project going strong, another little finger joined the mix, Chase’s….

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Chase 2010

But primarily, this was a project with me and my little girl. Struggling with a shoe strap, picking up a balloon, a worm, a burger, or a mudpie. This was our little connection point, even if she didn’t know all the time when I was shooting these.

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(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Spring_2011

As Olivia has gotten older, I’ve shot less and less of her little fingers. I shot a couple in 2013 but the occurrences are getting less and less.

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(c)JerseyStyle Photography_March 2013

As I watch her grow up before my eyes, with her sporty cut blonde hair, pearl white teeth and blue green eyes that alternately show joy, sadness or anger, those fingers now love to grasp a pencil or pen to write a story or draw a photo.

In all, I’ve shot included about 28 images in the Little Fingers Gallery Series. I can remember where each one was shot. Most were “in the moment”. Every now and then, if she was picking up a seashell in Asbury Park or a wholly caterpillar in the back yard, I may have asked her to do it again so I could get that shot.

But I think it’s time to now end this project. Time to retire it.

One of my ultimate thrills of my life has been watching Olivia grow up these past seven years. I haven’t done the same type of project for the boys; I don’t know why. But I’m documenting them in different ways.

Little Fingers is my connection to my little Jersey girl. I’ll always be keeping a eye out for her and on her.

Today is her special day. I promised her chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. She’ll have a friend over after school and we’ll do the full celebration with another special friend on Saturday.

This is her day. You only turn seven once.

Here’s a link to the full gallery series.

Happy Birthday, Olivia!

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

Weekend Shot: Brighten Up

(c)JeseyStyle Photography_Chase_LiteBrite_032014_3826

The Opening Day of the baseball season preempted my Weekend Shot, that I normally post on Mondays.

This past weekend was pretty rainy here in the Great State of New Jersey. It’s a messy affairs when it rains, especially with little kids still in car seat and whatnot. Saturday, Leslie spent some good time with Liv, so me and the boys ran our usually Saturday errands. Had some ‘guy time’ too, hitting the doughnut shot for some circles with frosting and a coffee (well, they had the doughnuts, I had the coffee,)

Sunday, though was family time. Still rainy, we all headed down to the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, NJ. This is a pretty fun place for the kids, but our little water bugs can quickly get away from you in there. It was great to have Les along so that we could keep an eye on the three.

They have this neat but Lite-Brite type board there, for little kids to practice spatial relationships and dexterity.

When I go to places like this, I often just slap my “Nifty Fifty” lens on my 50D, and move my setting to monochrome. I just like to see how the images on the back of the camera look in black & white. But I shoot in RAW and JPEG, which allows me to still have a color RAW file as well. While I kept a few images that I shot in B&W, I liked how this one looked in color.

A good time was had by all, even on a rainy Sunday.

The Garden State Discovery Museum + Brite Lites + Nifty Fifty + Chase = This Weekend Image.

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

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