Act Soon. Expect Nothing.

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Hell On Wheels_123014_0452

Act soon. Expect nothing.

I just got done reading Saint Jack by Paul Theroux. First heard about this novel in a blog post by Australian crime fiction writer Andrew Nette. It’s about an ex-pat living in Singapore in the 1960’s and he’s got his hands in a lot of different buckets – none of them good. Gambling, hookers, cons…he’s doing it all. He always thinks his ship will come in.

Anyway, the phrase Act soon. Expect nothing. comes up late in the book. I dog-earred the page. I like the phrase.

Four simple words, but they mean a lot. We should take heed.

Do whatever you need to do to be as happy as you can be. And don’t wait to do it. Tomorrow never comes.

My biggest break, if you can call it that, is finding out about TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND by a short little post on Twitter, then me finding the editor and sending him my images. Worst he could say is no.

He didn’t. And by my being part of the book, other doors opened. Hopefully they will continue to open.

Act soon. Expect nothing.

In part, because of that, 2014 was a pretty good year for me. I’ll do a photo recap soon, but here’s some of the things I’m thankful for:

* My wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. It’s not always roses, but nothing is. We’re happy, have a great family, and I’m glad she’s hung in there with me.

* My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary. The last few months have been tough on my mom and dad due to health issues but they are strong and will work through it.

* The trip my family took to Vermont in August. Loved it.

* My business trip to South Africa, which continues to inspire me.

* Meeting, and photographing, Andrew Nette in Philadelphia in late October.

* Shooting Greg LoBiondo, who teaches yoga.

* Shooting the TriRock Triathlon in June, also in Philly.

* Shooting the Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge for the 6th time last January. Tomorrow will be my 7th.

* All the great folks associated with the TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND book. Starts with Joe Clifford and goes on to all the writers. They are all getting it done.

* The new “Bruce Buds” I’ve made with the Friends of Bruce Springsteen Society and Backstreets Magazine.

* Getting interviewed for the Camille Conte Radio Show on my noir photography.

* Meeting Thom Zimny and seeing Bruce down in Red Bank.

* Photographing writer Terrence McCauley at Nat Sherman’s this past summer, and having a wonderful dinner with him and his wife.

* The continued support I get from Joe McNally.

* Meeting and photographing Barry Schneier with his classic Springsteen photo.

* Shooting a beekeeper

* We Ride Bikes, an essay W. Todd Kaneko

* Finding James Victore and Burning Questions video series on YouTube.

* The work of Flemming Bo Jensen and Charlene Winfred.

* Finding out about the author William Gay from a Facebook post by Dennis Tafoya.

* Readings Dennis’ THE POOR BOY’S GAME and going to his book launch.

* Being part of NoirCon 2014

* The Springsteen Symposium in September.

* How smart Olivia is.

* Reading more – book, essays, ebooks

* The Financial Times newspaper, especially the Weekend Edition.

* The great writing and photography of Esquire Magazine.

* All the great new writers I found, many busting their tails in 9-5 jobs and families, but still finding time to do what they love.

* Shooting film

* Shooting digital

* Nik Filters

* Old cameras

* New cameras

* Watching my kids grow.

* And grow up.

* Matt getting out of diapers and into a big-boy bed.

* My Kindle HD Fire

* Reading the E.B. White essay on New York.

* The sweetness of Chase.

* Seeing my wife become enamored with new projects.

* The music of NJ’s James Dalton Jr.

* The music of Ike Reilly

* The music of The Gaslight Anthem

* The music of Molly & The Zombies

* Pushing myself to do the Spartan Race. More to come in ’15

* Taking my kids to diners.

* Shooting at The Saint in Asbury Park

* Asbury Park

* And to having them look at cool skies and clouds.

* Finishing my 100 Strangers Project.

* Working with Magnum photographer Bruno Barbey, in South Africa no less. Drinking wine with him, and having him casually drop Cartier-Bresson’s name.

* Some pretty cool sunsets.

* Meeting, and shooting a cool portrait of, Danny Clinch.

* Printing More in ‘OneFour

* Sending prints

* The fine folks at Rear Curtain (Ray, Sabrina, Dorothy, Matthew, Stuart)

* The photography work of Ben Lowry

* New Jersey

* Photography

So, so many more. I have to say, it was a pretty good year.

That said….Act Soon. Expect Nothing.

Now let’s get after it.

Happy New Year. Bring on 2015.

(Oh, the car photo? Has nothing to do with the post. I shot it yesterday on the way to getting my driver’s license renewed. Just thought I’d post it.)

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

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