A Look Back – 2012

(c) Mark Krajnak / JerseyStyle PhotographyTracks2012

And here we are.

End of the road. Chapter, verse and book is finished. Gastank is empty.

We can’t go back and change anything.

2012 is what it was. All done.

That image above was one of, if not the, first click of my shutters way back on January 1. There’s a lot of text in this post. If you want to skip all that and just get to my 2012 Retrospective of my favorite shots, scroll all the way to the bottom (or click here). Otherwise, read on, friends.

For me, I’ll say 2012 was a good year. I saw my children grow and learn and create. In 2013, I hope to find more patience with them, and less raising of my voice. They are a good little gang, and it’s been fun to watch all theirs stages.

My wife and I celebrated our 12th year together, 8 of them as married folk. I’m not the easiest cat to get a long with, so I give her a lot – and I mean A LOT – credit. I’ve also come to fully realize what a wonderful mom she is, holding down the fort at every turn.

Speaking of forts, in 2012, we moved into a new house which we’ve enjoyed a lot. We’ve also cursed a lot, but that’s another story. It was a good move for us overall and we’re happy with our little plot on the New Jersey landscape.

I also just put in my 8th year with my company. In an ever uneasy job market, I’m happy to have a job I enjoy and that gives me some flexibilty to be creative. I didn’t travel as much for them as in past years, with just trips to Cincinnati and Chicago this year.

From a creative standpoint, I think I grew. I read more of a diversity of topics, listened to more less-than-mainstream music and especially jazz. (though, no surpirse, Bruce Springsteen still rang in my ears the most), and started to indulge in more “creative and design”-type websites and publications. It’s an adjunct of what I do for a living, but I believe it’s all about design – what works, what doesn’t, what looks good, what can look even better.

The best book I read this year, though, has got to be The Great LIFE Photographers, which I got for a steal of a price at Barnes & Noble one rainy evening. So much goodness in that book.

Much of my photography comes about from having a camera with me, pretty much always. I know it drives my family crazy, but either my Canon 50D or my Canon S95 is in the bag, on the seat, hanging from my shoulder. I’ve have people tell or write me saying they enjoy how I capture little moments of life. Well, I can do that because I’m prepared for those little moments.

36 Favorites from 2012

36 Favorites from 2012

That being said…I lost A LOT of work this year because I failed to back up an external hard drive properly. I lost 90% of what I shot from January to August because my computers won’t read the drive the files are on and it’s very costly to get it fixed. On that drive is a ton of kids/family photos, noir work that was never published, urban landscapes, street photography, some video. I’ve been kicking myself for the last three months but it’s taught me an important lesson: Back Your Stuff Up! And in more than on place. Actually, Flickr and Facebook have saved my photographic bacon a bit because I had images posted there. I use Mozy and for some reason – maybe it was me – they didn’t back me up as expected. In 2013, I expect to invest in another exernal hard drive that will also be backed up by Carbonite and DropBox.

Because of this passion for photography, I had the chance to meet a whole bunch of new people this year. I added 10 new faces and stories to my 100 Strangers project (though still 10 short of 100). I photographed a few interesting events, and was published by Rear Curtain (online and in print), made the Landmarks of the Jersey Shore 2013 Calendar, and, in a twist even I didn’t see coming, have seen my noir images become the basis for author Bard Constantine’s Mick Trubble character in his books. Big thanks to Stefan Prohaczka for his creative, artistic genius with that too.

Finally, I was fortunate to meet and/or work with a number of fine photographers: Jose Azel, Ehrin Macksey, Gary S. Chapman, Amy Fletcher, David Burnett. I also had the chance, be it in person or electronically, to continue some really valuable relationships with friends (and top shooters) who greatly inspire me – Joe McNally, Syl Arena, David Bowman, Ray, Sabrina, Matthew, and Stuart at Rear Curtain.

All of these photographers are so giving with their time, knowledge, experience and insight.

There are so many others whose work I follow on a regular basis – shooters like Ed Brydon, Daniel Milnor, Flemming Bo Jensen, Kendrick Brinson, Mark Olwick, that give me inspiration to keep shooting and to get better.

When Hurricane Sandy hit back in late October, I was amazed at how many folks from nearby and from around the world checked in on me and my family via email, Twitter, Facebook and here as well. It was truly uplifting. If I didn’t say it then – or didn’t say it enough – my family and I thank you.

A few days ago, in the comments section of one of my posts, Ed Brydon said I was “prolific.” I guess I am. I hammer that shutter, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I created a lot of JSP posts this year – 229 including this one. I don’t know really if people that like that or not. But I’m not going to sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. I’m getting in the game too late.

I want to share my images, I want to tell stories, I want to document. If that means posting every day because something seems interesting that I want to share, then I will. If people don’t like it, there’s always the “unsubscribe” or delete button. For those of you that do subscribe and give my blog and work your attention, I do thank you. There’s so much out there to check out. For you to take time to look at what I’m putting down, well, I really appreciate that.

And I hope I can inspire others in some way as much as they inspire me.

So, without further adieu, here’s a short, six-minute video of MY favorite shots, month by month, from 2012. (Click here to watch it on YouTube).

Here’s to 2012 and what it brought us, good or bad. Let’s drop the shutter, roll right into the 2013 and meet back here.

Can’t wait to see what you all will be up too…

© Mark V. Krajnak 2012 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved


4 thoughts on “A Look Back – 2012

  1. Images have power, and you do a great job of capturing the human experience in a very focused way. Outstanding work, Mark. Can’t say enough how grateful I am that our paths crossed.

  2. You’ve had a really good year Mark and we at RC are so pleased to have been a part of it. On a personal note, I’ve enjoyed watching your family as they grow up and I wanted to thank you for that privilege. Wishing you all the very best in 2013! Hope we will see more stories from you and that RC can help share them with the world. Happy New Year!

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