Slow-Paced Life

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My little town of Allentown (NJ) was recently named one of the 15 Slow-Paced Towns in New Jersey Where Life Is Still Simple

That’s  a pretty nice list to be on. Is Allentown slow-paced? Well, I’m not to sure about that but we certainly aren’t bustling. The slower pace is one of the reasons I wanted to live here. When we were looking to get some more space from our home in Robbinsville, I was hoping we’d end up either in Cranbury, NJ, or Allentown.

(You may be thinking But Mark, you love the Jersey Shore. Why not move down there?. Fair thought. While I do love the shore towns, property is expensive. Plus, it’s not super convenient to any of my company’s offices. Right now, it’s still close enough for me to enjoy any time I want. But I’ve said, if I ever move again, it’ll only be down to a shore town.)

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We do love Allentown, though. Definitely a small-town feel with a quaint downtown to walk through. You see the same folks at the diner, the barbershop, the post office. Very low crime. Taxes ain’t great, but this is New Jersey after all.

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I also love the historical aspect to this town. Steeped in the American Revolution as our nickname is “The Crossroads of the Revolution“.

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I’m happy I’ve started my #AllentownNJLife project. However, it seems my images are devoid of the very thing I like best about Allentown – the people. Hopefully, I’ll start to change that, with more portraits of those that live and work here.

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It’s great for this recognition that Allentown received. It’s still hard for the shops and businesses, though. It’s a fine line – we like the small-town aspect, but it’s a challenge for a small business to stay successful. I try to frequent them as much as possible. A new bakery is coming to the corner of Church & Main, in an old bakery that’s been vacant for a while. Hopefully, they can make a run at it. Nothing like a small-town bakery.

So, stay tuned. If you’re on Instagram, click the hashtag #allentownnjlife and follow along. And drop a comment, say hello from wherever you are in this big blue marble of ours.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Friday Noir: Cold Feelings In The Night

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Uninvited feelings.

They come without warning.

And they stay much too long.

I don’t wanna feel…

And if I run they’ll be twice as strong.

I wait for a warning.

I wait for some kind of sign.

I try to separate my body from my mind.

I watch the clock, as the second hand slowly goes strolling by.

I don’t want to feel…

When a loved one’s time comes to die

I wait for a warning.

I’m waiting for some kind of sign.

You know… this feeling just ain’t right

And though I try.. I just can’t hide.

Yeah I got faith.

But sometimes fear..it just weighs too much.

These cold feelings in the night.

___________________

Dipping in to the Jersey Noir archives here. Been looking through some folders I hadn’t looked at in awhile, finding some interesting stuff that I hadn’t posted before.

New photos, new stories.

You know how Springsteen influences many of these images. (Wait, you don’t? Then you best read this interview I recently did.) Social Distortion is another band who’s music I love, and they happen to influence me too.

The caption here are the lyrics to one of my favorite SocialD songs, aptly, Cold Feelings. I like the slowed down, acoustic version a bit better than the up tempo one.

But just a bit.

Also, as you can see, I didn’t go full B&W with this one. I had some natural, beautiful light to work with in the first place, and I like the little red tip of the Lucky.

Not quite neo-noir, but not standard issue either.

Hope you like it!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Tearsheet: Livie & Luca Blog

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It’s funny where our images end up sometimes.

If you had told me images that I shot in Shanghai would be used on a blog run by a small company that specializes in children’s footwear, I would have said “Huh? What?”

But a few weeks ago, I opened an email from Amie Garcia, one of the co-owners of Livie & Luca.

She requested to use some of my photos that I shot while in Shanghai a few years ago. They would go to support a blog post she wanted to run about her experience in Shanghai.

A bit of back and forth as we determined and agreed upon permissions and rights, but all very congenial.

Amie’s post went up earlier this week…and I was happy to have my images as part of it!

Check out the post and Amie’s and Mitzi’s site – cool products with great global intentions.

And here’s my Shanghai post that includes these images.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

The Bookmaker

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The Bookmaker.

I’m talking about one that makes books, not this type of bookmaker.

Once upon a time, I interviewed Daniel Milnor. Dan is big into printing photos. And making photo books.

As well he should be. First, he shoots wonderful images that deserve to be printed.

And he now works for Blurb.

Photo bookmaking is second nature to him. While he’s moved on from his Smogranch, he’s still prolific with Shifter website. (I encourage you to check it out).

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Like I said, it’s in his nature to do photobooks. And when I read his site, I get reminded that I should print more books.

To do so isn’t that expensive. Well, this Mother’s Day one was a little since I dragged my heels and had to put a rush on it. But a normal one isn’t that bad.

Yes, it does take some time to do. But the benefit is you then have your photos printed. And you get to figure out how to tell the story, any story, even if it’s just a collection of images.

My story here was a look back, from May 2015 till May 2016. My wife comes to expect these books now (a blessing and a curse, and not just an automatic out of getting another gift for her.)

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But the other thing doing these books give me is…a smile. As I go through my photo files (actually, Flickr is great for this if you tag your images correctly, i.e. October 2015, Christmas 2015, March 2016….) I smile. I remember the past year, the photos of the kids, those I’ve forgotten.

And then when I get it back from AdoramaPix, I always love how it looks. They do fantastic work, so good, in fact, I’m hesitant to try a new company. They never fail to make the book look credible.

Plus, my wife loves it.

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So the stack is getting higher. I have other books to put together too.

For me, that means editing down the photos. And waking up earlier to have some “me” time to get them done.

But it’s all worth it…when you can call yourself a Bookmaker.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

 

 

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