Memorial Day 2017

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It’s a rainy, cool early morning here in New Jersey.

My kids are to march in the Memorial Day Parade later this morning, one of my favorite ways to kick off the summer.

Hopefully, the rain will hold up to let us congregate in the neighborhood. Then, with the fire trucks and tractors leading the way, we walk down Main Street waving to the people lining the street, down past the Post Office, down past the Library, down past Woody’s Diner and the Old Mill, and over the bridge for the lake.

The kids start to complain a little about walking, but then we are almost done. We get to the middle school where there is usually sno-cone machine. We watch the rest of the parade catch up to us.

And, just like that, summer starts.

But it starts with remembrance first – for all those who fought – and are fighting – for the freedom we hold dear.

That’s the reason my boys line up on that chalk line and put their hats over their hearts as the National Anthem plays.

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My father (left) and grandfather

This year, Chase, Matt…they asked me about why we do that. I was honored to tell them why.

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So let’s start with remembrance…and then rush headlong in to my favorite three months of the year.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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BTS: On Set, Musically

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Friday evening, I had the pleasure of photographing an up-and-coming musician right here in town.

She has a record release date coming up later this summer, and needs\es collateral for upcoming advertising, website, etc.

I’ll be delivering my final images to her this evening and then then I’ll share them here. Really happy with what I’ve seen from our set. Fingers crossed she and her team like them too.

But, here’s a quick BTS shot from just before we wrapped up. Pretty simple set up: A Neewer 160 CT LED light and a Limo Studios shoot-through umbrella. Both very budget friendly, as you can see.

Also took advantage of another fixed light that was on set  was throwing some nice pools of light for me to work with.

More tk…

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 05.27.17

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Here we are barreling towards summer like a runaway lawn mower.

Quite the busy week that saw a little bit of everything. I practiced some portraiture early in the week, then was able to put that practice to work later in the week.

Shot some baseball stuff, some kids play stuff, and some local around town stuff.

Continued work on a long-form photojournalism project that has gotten underway.

Oh yeah, and a hot rod, too.

Headed into this long, three-day weekend with a clear head and empty media cards. Hope to shoot some good stuff!

How about you?

_____

This Week’s Links

Birthdays this week: Aaron Rappaport

Deaths this week: Photojournalist Stanley Greene

What I watched this week: Fred Lyon: Living Through The Lens This is a seriously good documentary on one of my favorite photographers. What a special talent. When I saw him move from shooting his DSLR to a small point-and-shoot to get a shot, I realized he’s me in about 25 years. Watch this inf you can find it.

Via Strobist, Gregory Heisler on color and light.

Are the icons of photography still relevant? (I say yes.)

The other less famous photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald…and the man who shot it.

Mike Trout: Jersey guy. And a damn fine ballplayer.

“I honestly believe photography is 75 percent chance, and 25 percent skill.” ~ Stanley Greene

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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Not All Heroes Wear Capes

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One of the things I enjoy about my regular 9-to-5 job is the smart people I get to interact with.

One of those folks is Dr. Husseni Manji, a leading mind in the area of neuroscience and mental health.

Earlier this year, Dr. Manji was named a Health Hero by Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O.

Now, Dr. Manji has better things to do than to get new headshots taken. As you can see if you click that link, the one he usually uses ain’t cutting it. But again, he’s usually resistant to sit down for a new one. And I can’t blame him.

However, when the big bosses say you need a new headshot for the the big business meeting, well, even heroes have to take heed. So, I was asked to shoot a new headshot of Dr. Manji.

The parameters were:

  • Have it be clean and airy
  • Have it be similar to other leader headshots we have
  • Have it be outside to evoke nature

The first two, no problem. Having worked with the photographer (Amy Fletcher) who did many of our leadership headshots, I knew where to get the best shots. Heck, she and I scouted the best spots several years ago!

Even the third shouldn’t be a problem. I’d be shooting on the tree-lined corporate headquarters of Johnson & Johnson.

However, come the day of the shoot…there was a catch: Dr. Manji’s allergies were acting up. I was to shoot him at 11:30 a.m. and he had a big meeting to present to at 1:30. He wanted to be shot indoors to hopefully temper his allergies.

Ok, no problem. Knowing the lobbies of J&J (and having shot in them before), I could coerce an image to appear in an outside environment, thanks to well-placed lobby shrubbery. Well, sort of anyway.

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But I wanted to give the designer some options, so I also did more of a “corporate” setting.

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A little bit more glass and stone, less leaves.  I also shot wider so that the designer could crop if needed (yes, I tried to button his jacket. It didn’t look right.)

And tighter, with a bit more smile, too.

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At this point, I pretty much had shot what the designer needed. I had Dr. Manji for only 15 minutes and time was ticking.

But I kept my eyes open. As his communication person took a call, I chatted with Dr. Manji, saying the last time I shot him two years ago, he was wearing a hockey jersey.

I also remembered (though I doubted he would) that I photographed him for the cover of a magazine seven years ago.

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That small talk gave me an opening, though. Right near where he was standing was a wall. A dark gray wall. A dark gray wall with some beautiful window light.

Like a dark gray seamless. The kind I like.

I asked Dr. Manji for two more minutes, and positioned him by the wall. Put down my Canon 70D and picked up my Fuji X100T. Because I knew before I shot the frames how they would look with that camera.

And I knew I’d like it.

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To me, this is the “hero portrait” I wanted for Dr. Manji. Quiet, dignified, solid. I like it in color with the slight turn, and the straight on, B&W that opens this post.

I sent these to the designer too, knowing they probably won’t use them but again…designers like options.

Here’s the final usage. You can see they went with the less “outdoorsy” one and more of the corporate one.

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They went with what they needed and I fulfilled their needs. But I also got some portraits that I’m very happy with, just be looking around the scene a bit and seeing what else was available.

Get what you are asked to get, do it well, then get just a little bit more.

Sometimes that’s all you can do. Now Dr. Manji has all of my final images. I’m hoping he and his communications team can put them to good use.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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