Tearsheet: Rear Curtain Issue 4
The team at Rear Curtainhas done it again. RC Issue 4 takes them in yet another new direction as, with this issue, they put the focus on portrait photography and the stories these images tell.
In his From The Editor column, Ray Ketcham says In this issue, portraits that reveal and conceal how we view ourselves, and how others perceive us, are shown along with how we connect with other and what memory is made of.
Quite a large helping for a photography magazine that is still in its infancy to take on and try to digest. But it just goes to show the idea and direction the RC staff – Ray, Sabrina Henry, Matt Connors, Emily Kawahara and Stuart Sipahigil – is taking the magazine.
A few months ago, Ray reached out to me about this issue, and said they wanted to feature my 100 Strangers project. This was deep in the winter, snow was still on the ground. I was all for it but jammed up with a big project at work. I was waking up early to get a jump on that work, keep this blog up, edit photos, etc, and I was very slow in getting Ray what they needed – namely, all the photos in that project.
See, while I have them all somewhere on a hard drive and backed up in two other spots…I didn’t have them all together, except on my Flickr page. So, I had to go and download each of the 80-odd images (at the time), remove the white border I put on each one, clean them up a touch, then put them in a Zip file for Ray. Took me awhile. Just not enough hours in the day.
I sent it off, and then let Stuart and the design team do their magic.
Oh, and Ray asked me to write the text for the piece too. Or, in my case, write, revise, rewrite, edit, repeat. My journalism background, while allowing me to turn out copy quickly, makes me my own worst editor and critic (these blog posts notwithstanding).
As Winter shed its label and Spring emerged, I sent everything off to the RC team. I knew they were working hard on the issue, but they, too, all have full-time jobs. This is a labor of love for them. Plus they were planning and getting ready for ART 2013.
Ray and I kept in regular touc. At one point, he told me they were working to interview Joe McNally for the issue as well. I tried to push that along as best I could, dropping Joe a few emails and text messages, but we all know how busy Joe is. Sabrina stayed tenacious, though, and eventually scored a Skype call with him. Sabrina’s interview with Joe is included in this issue as well.
Aside from having a feature devoted to my 100 Strangers project – and having all (now) 91 strangers represented – that’s what makes Issue 4 of Rear Curtain really special to me – having my name in the same Table of Contents as Joe McNally.
That’s certainly not to take anything away from the other great photographers included in this issue – Marc Erwin Babej (who also contributed the striking cover shot for RC Issue 4), Tina Remiz, Bar Am-David. But to share the TOC with Joe, whom I first met in the early winter of 1999 and have come to call a close friend, it’s a huge honor. When he first met me, I was snapping crappy shots with a disposable camera – in Europe no less. I’d like to think I’ve improved my skill and passion for photography and storytelling since then.
Still, if back in 1999, if you would have said “One day, you and Joe will be featured in a photography magazine together…” I would have said you were partying like it was 1999, Prince. Drinking too much Johnny Walker Blue. Having someone tattoo me on on their arm would have sounded more logical!
But it’s happened – My name and Joe’s name appear in the same TOC – and I’m especially proud of that.
Oh yes…#91…a late entry that Stuart was able to squeeze in the design of the feature.
I met Chris in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, a couple of weeks ago. Very nice gyuy, soft-spoken. A grandfather. Works construction. He was at the same Thomas The Train Day at the Phillipsburg Railroad as my family were. I had seen him walking around and noticed – and admired – that beard. A little while later, I had the chance to speak with him, tell him about the project. He agree to be photographed.
He hasn’t shaved in 12 years.
As I spoke with him, I was reminded of another gent whom I photographed for this project. Grover, in Chicago, back in 2009.
Can’t beat a guy with a good-looking beard.
91 are in the books. Trying to finish up the rest this summer. We’ll see. Here’s a slideshow of all 91 people I’ve photographed.
Oh, and lest I forget….Rear Curtain Issue 4 also continues with the tradition of one of my noir images closing the book. Pity The Night is the one featured this time around. As Ray also put it in his opening, With this issue Mark now has the distinction of having more photographs published in Rear Curtain than any other storyteller.
That’s just amazing to me. I’m so thankful to the team at Rear Curtain for giving me a chance to show some of my work. It’s truly an honor to be part of this publication and look forward to many more interesting, evocative, and photographically rich issues to come.
Click here to read more about Rear Curtain, Issue 4 and to purchase the digitial and print version.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2013