15 Years A Friend and Mentor

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Joe McNally_2001

Fifteen years ago (maybe like fifteen years and two or three months), I was sitting in a conference room at a design agency in New York. A guy in either a corduroy or tweed jacket and black turtle next sat across from me.

The agency was Taylor & Ives.

The guy was Joe McNally.

I had been working with T&I for a year or so, as they would design the annual reports for the company I worked for a the time.

I had no idea who Joe McNally was. Google was in it’s infancy but that’s probably where I went when I got back to the office. Joe seemed like a nice guy. They told me he was a good photographer.

A couple weeks later, just after we all realized we survived Y2K, Joe, his assistant, and I took off for a two-week photo shoot in five different European countries.

I don’t know if my love of photography started on that trip. I know my friendship with Joe started then.

For the last 15 years, he’s been a photography mentor and teacher to me, but also a great friend to me and my family.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look from a shoot in 2001 or 2002. The company I was working for had just reverse acquired Monsanto (yes THAT Monsanto). They had a small pharma division at the time, and had a big arthritis drug my company wanted. So, I few out to St. Louis and Joe and I did a shoot at Monsanto’s campus in Creve Coeur, MO. We both got a crash course in how they are engineering crops to grow in difficult climates, and the innovation it takes to do that (I know, I know, Monsanto, GMO’s, Frankenfoods…they are all the bad guys. Still, we both found it fascinating.)

And, my little travel buddy Flo The Pig was with me as well. I know Joe and I were getting to be friends when he’d waste film to do a set up with Flo in the shot. I shot this with probably one of those plastic cameras you dropped off at the drugstore to get developed.

I posted this to my Facebook page and Joe said: “Kman [I’ve always been KMan to him]….we have both grown up photographically together since that madcap European adventure! Look at this pic….Mamiya Pro II RZ with a winder and a 50mm lens, Profoto 7B into a shoot through umbrella. Kinda old school! Now we live amongst the pixels…”

Yes we do, Joe. Yes we do.

Happy birthday my friend.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

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