Of All The Gin Joints In All The World…


Veronica Lake.

Barbara Stanwyck.

Lauren Bacall.

And my favorite…

Grace Kelly.

All great works of noir have one thing in common: A great femme fatale.

She’s the one to cause the commotion, to drive the story, to lend that bit of smokey sultryness that will cause good men to go bad. Or to cause bad men do things badder still.


Earlier this year, I was contacted by Chelsea Landon and asked if I would contribute photography to her off-Broadway noir play called Two Detectives. Chelsea is a talented young director with an impressive pettigree. She was directing her father’s play for the stage and thought my background in noir photography could help drive the story foreward.

I was very enthused to participate. So while the cold late winter winds blew, I pinballed from Manhattan to Brighton Beach to Ozone Park shooting locales that would eventually make the final production.

But the most fun I had was photographing the lead female actor in the piece, Olivia Roric. Olivia is a fantastic actor to work with. She’s passionate about what she does and enjoys taking on new parts. She’s driven.And she’s good.

Since she was a main cog in the play, Chelsea told me she wanted photography of her, but left it up to me. Since the play climaxes in Grand Central, I knew I wanted to shoot her there. On a cold President’s Weekend, Olivia hustled over to Grand Central and got into character. Since you need a permit to put a tripod down in any part of NYC now – and I didn’t have one – I shot everything hand held as best I could.


Before Olivia arrived, I go there early and did some scouting. After doing some headshots (above) to warm up, I took her to a spot that was basically devoid of people but gave me some beautiful light. I had her just walk on and off the train. And the image directly below became one of my favorite images of the year.


After Grand Central, I took her to a nearby Irish Pub. It was the middle of the afternoon and pretty quiet. Michael, the bartender, pretty much gave me the run of the place. Using available light, we shot there for almost an hour.

I like the grain in this image. I like the pose. The thing that I don’t like is that Olivia ate the olives out of her martini too soon!

Olivia was great as a femme fatale though. Smokey. Sultry. Making good men do bad things.

Barbara Stanwyck would have been proud.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2008 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 20D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 and/or Nik Software

6 thoughts on “Of All The Gin Joints In All The World…

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