Sunday Focus: David Spira

Before I start, just want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all that contacted me as a result of the previous post. I wasn’t quite sure if I should put it out there like that, and that’s why I was vague. On one hand, we all have bad days and really bad days. Why thrust mine on you? On the other, yeah it was a rough day, but just getting behind the camera and being able to produce something that I was happy with helped. Kinda helps, you know? So, much big thanks to everyone.

Here is the second in a series of “Who Are Those Guys?” meaning, “those guys (or gals)” over there on the right, listed in my blog roll. Here’s the first.

Of course, this being a blog about my photographic influences and exploits, the lion’s share of those in the blog roll are, well, photographers. But there are a few in there that have a good reason for being. More than likely, they’ve given me knowledge about things I wouldn’t know about and/or are really good people.

My friend David Spira falls into both of those categories – he’s given me knowledge AND he’s a really good guy.

The quick background: I started my current position with my company in November 2007. When I started, I heard I’d be having a graduate student from the local university work under me and support me. All well and good. So I jumped into the job with both feet and in just a scant few days my head was spinning. Like Alice falling through the rabbit hole, I landed feet first into a HUGE project for my company – the relaunch of its corporate website – essentially the face of the company – with a whole host of players from creative to tech. I was just trying to figure out the language they spoke (it was English, for the most part, but with equal amounts of technobabble thrown in.)

David was the aforementioned grad student and de facto translator for all this geek jibberash.


Why was the he translator? Well, when you are The Geek Whisperer…certain things fall your way. Helping the new guy who also happens to be your boss is one of them.

But aside from that, I came to find David to be a very astute fellow, MUCH more so than when I was his age. He’d already had his own computer-repair business, got accepted into a tough Fellowship program, and quickly started to show his corporate chops. We launched the new website in April 2008 thanks in no small part to the role that he played. Plus, he plays a pretty mean blues guitar. Now, if I can get him to watch The Natural….

Ok, fast forward to just a couple of weeks ago. David graduated from his Fellowship program and is now off to make his way in the world. No more teachers, no more books and all that. And once his Fellowship ended, so too did his time with me and my company. But in just a matter of days, he joined a very great small creative team called Local Wisdom, which, actually, is a vendor I use a ton. Even though I’ve lost David from my team, I’m sure we’ll still be working a lot together.

On his last day, I told him I was taking him out to lunch. But of course there was a catch. In return for the lunch, he had to give me 30 minutes to do some portraits. Told him I wanted to do them “edgy geek….” Using natural light and my 75-300mm lens, I like how they came out.

I took him to a local alleyway and did some basic headshots, like you saw above. Then I shot some that in my head I knew would be converted to B&W.


Even hit one that if David ever needs to release an emo-ish album, or a book of forelorn poetry, he may want to consider this street shot.


Now, one of David’s main features are the glasses he wears. He even blogged about them. The man knows his specs. So, I wanted to somehow draw attention to this signature item in one of his protraits.


Not sure it worked, but we gave it a shot. All in all, it was a fun 30 minutes. We even came up with a fall-back career in case the Local Wisdom thing doesn’t pan out…


So give his blog a check out. He’s got a lot of good stuff to share from a technical perspective. He’s adament about backing up your hard drive. Oh is he adament about that. But a lot of other good info there as well. Bookmark it, and hit every now and again. You just may learn something from The Geek Whisperer.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2009 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 20D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 and Nik Software

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