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Bruce Springsteen turns 69 today, September 23.

You’d think this was a state holiday in New Jersey, right?

Nah, nothing like that, though I’m sure it’s been discussed.

But, I can’t let the day pass without looking at some of my photos of Mr. Springsteen. I’ve only shot him a couple of times…but at least I can say I shot him!

Maybe one day I’ll get him into my garage studio for some formal portraits.

Until then, I’ll present this one, a favorite of mine. Shot on a breezy April 2017 evening in Asbury Park.

Bruce, playing a Gibson guitar that night, with an assortment of Jersey Shore musical legends at the Asbury Park Film Festival.

Happy birthday, Bruce!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 09.22.18

Visual Week In Review_092218

Ah, the first day of Fall today here in New Jersey.

Pains me a little to say that since it means Summer is firmly in the rearview now.

And just around the bend, still a speck in the distance, is that time of the year that seems to take forever, as winter

But, the days march on. You get what you get and you don’t get upset, as we used to tell the kids when they would complain about not getting the snack they wanted. Not sense crying over something you can’t control, like the passing of days or the weather.

Find the good.

I read a few things this week that stressed how photography helped some folks be in the moment rather than distracted from the moment. Yes, having the camera or the phone in our pocket can perhaps make us be too involved with that.

But for me, it does help me stay in the moment, and remember seconds, days, events, better.

It was beautiful last Sunday and the family took a hike in a local park. I left my main cameras behind (forgot them in the rush to get out the door, to be honest) but had my phone. And I captured some nice ones of the kids and the landscape and Leslie and Bo.

Put me in the moment. I like that. The journey is the destination, as Dan Eldon said.

So, I’ll take what the calendar gives me and I won’t complain.

Too loudly, at least.

(Oh, and happy first day of Spring to my friends south the equator!)


Speaking of being in the moment, we have plenty of spots open for the Worldwide Photowalk in Allentown, N (not PA!) that will happen October 6. More information here.



This Week’s Links:

What I Read This Week: Started my Fall Reading List off with Some Die Nameless by local NJ writer Wallace Stroby.

What I Watched This Week: Mean Streets by Martin Scorsese

And also: Gregory Crewdson / Brief Encounters

What I Listened To This Week: Jolene by Dolly Parton. Can’t get enough of this song.

Whatever happened to Steve Perry, the lead singer from Journey? This.

Speaking of weather..recording the monsoons.

Meg White, drummer.

“A good photograph will prove to the viewer how little our eyes permit us to see. Most people, really, don’t see—see only what they have always seen and what they expect to see—where a photographer, if he’s good, will see everything and better if he sees things he doesn’t expect to see.” ~ Leon Levinstein

Photographing The Kima Warriors – Part 2


The other day, I talked about shooting portraits of the Kima Warriors at Silva Fusion Martial Arts.

The portraits were a big part of the ask here – Kim Robles really wanted to show who her Kima Warriors are, and really enhance the “Together We Are Stronger” theme.


But just as important was to get action shot of these gals in gi’s on the mat, doing what they do.

I LOVED this part of the shoot! First, it was so interesting to really get in close to these jiu jiu jiteras (as Kim calls them) as they worked through their moves.

It was very cool because while there were pockets of action, jiu jitsu is much like hand-to-hand chess: You do one thing, your opponent counters, and then you counter-strike.

And the way this Sunday Session was set up was that the gals could work on a move, step back, try it again, make sure their foot positioning was right, their hands were right. So there was a step-by-step aspect to it.


Master Tony also put on the gi to help out and work on his technique as well.





In addition, I wanted to capture the quiet moments, the in-betweens.





I had a lot of fun shooting these action shots. A happy accident also occurred: My truck, parked in front of the dojo, created some wicked cool (as they say in Boston) sun bounces into the dojo, which I took advantage off. But, overall, the light in the gym was great, so I liked the looks I got.

And, of course, as with all my shoots…before we totally broke down the site…Flo had to get in on a group photo.


© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018


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Photographing The Kima Warriors – Part 1


For the past few years now, my daughter has been taking “karate” at a local dojo, Silva Fusion Martial Arts.

The dojo is run by Master Tony Silva with an assist by Coach (and Tony’s fiance) Kim Robles. I put “karate” in quotes because she doesn’t really study that martial art. It’s more mixed martial arts now: kick boxing, grappling, jiu jitsu.

You say “MMA” and people think stepping into the octogon. It’s nothing like that….at least not now. That whole competition is an off-shoot of studying, of learning. As Master Tony has said “Some people may never compete or fight; they may just continue studying martial arts. And that’s OK.”

Right now, for Liv and others, it’s just about learning different forms of martial arts for fitness and self-defense purpose.

The credentials Tony and Kim hold are strong: Tony is a fourth-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, Master Certification; fourth-degree black belt in Mixed Martial Arts, Sensei Certification; Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Bill Scott.


Master Tony Silva

Kim is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Bill Scott; certified MMA Fighter Fit Coach; FusionFIT instructor; Undefeated Gold Medalist for New Jersey Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation, and LI Pride.


Coach Kim Robles

While I think it’s great that Liv has been studying with Master Tony and Coach Kim, I’ve been super impressed with how Tony and Kim teach. Theirs is a quiet discipline of teaching. No yelling, nothing over the top. They lead and teach by example too.

Which is why I was a happy when, a few months ago, Kim approached me about shooting her Kima Warriors. The Kima Warriors is a program Kim started for the female martial artists at the dojo. They work and learn together, especially during mat time on Sunday’s.

Kim first approached me to do a shoot of her Kima Warriors in the spring, but it took some coordination and time to get everyone together on a good Sunday. We tossed some emails back and forth, but also met after classes one day – this meeting, to me, was important because speaking with Kim about the KW program gave me good insight into its purpose and goals.

I was also interested to hear how it all came about for Kim, and how she’s using social media to spread the word about classes and positivity for women and young girls.

From a technical side, too, I had some time to purchase a dark gray seamless background that I’ve wanted for awhile. While I have black and white backgrounds, I like the versatility of that gray affords. This video, by Joel Edelman, explains why gray is a great color for the background (luckily, I had already purchased my Thunder Gray background from Savage Universal before I saw this, so no buyers remorse.)

So, early in August, on a hot Sunday morning, I loaded up the gear into my truck and headed to the Silva Fusion dojo. The dojo has a lot of great natural light and I was going to use that to my advantage. I brought some fill light (LED panels and my Canon 480 speedlight), my Neewer octo, and shoot-through umbrellas as well.  Here’s what the set looked like for the portraits:

Kima Portrait Setup_082018

On Set

As I’m wont to do with portraits, I shot color on my Canon and black & white on Fuji X100T. I delivered both sets to Kim after all the editing was done.




Kima Mosaic_08052018jpg

The goal of this shoot was to really highlight the the Kima Warriors, and communicate what they stand for. The slogan on their sleeve says “Together We Are Stronger” and Kim uses that as a hashtag – #togetherwearestronger – when she promotes the images on her Instagram page. In this era of #metoo, I love that phrase.

Speaking of…Kim documented the day on IG as well…


But this was just Part One of the my shoot with Kima Warriors…for Part Two…we hit the mats.


More to come…

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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