Labor Day 2018


Farmer, New Jersey

Today, in the United States, is Labor Day. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the “working man.” It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a federal holiday by Act of Congress in 1894

This day is not for me. I don’t work.

I mean, of course I do. I do something full time that earns me commission every two weeks that allows me and my family to live comfortably.

But I basically sit in front of a computer all day and “get things done.” At the end of the day I shut it down (or at lease disengage from my company network until I turn it back on again the next day.

But I don’t work – at least I don’t think so. My father enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard after high school and when he got out, he became a Pennsylvania Corrections Officer for more than 30 years. He worked on cell blocks, pulled guard duty in the tower and generally spent his days around some pretty bad people.

That’s working.

So, today – to me – is for the farmers and the construction people, the engineers and the mechanics, the scientists, the law enforcement departments and the fire departments, the truckers and the builders, the mothers and the fathers that are raising their families anyway they can.

It’s these people that “Labor Day” is meant for.

So to them I say….Thanks. Enjoy your day. Here’s a collection of my photos of people I’ve shot over the year people that I feel exemplify for whom Labor Day is for:


Nurse, New Jersey


Souvenir vendor, New York


Construction Worker, Pennsylvania

Rickshaw Driver

Bicycle rickshaw driver, New York


low-Springhouse lab_101116_DSCF8776

Scientist, Pennsylvania


baseball coach

Little League coach, New Jersey


Hotel Front Desk, India


Facilities Workers, Italy


Barbers, New Jersey


Lifeguard, New Jersey


Hands of a fireman, Pennsylvania

Dads shirt_bw_

My Dad’s CO uniform shirt, which still I have in my closet

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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6 thoughts on “Labor Day 2018

  1. I’ve often felt the same Mark. I’m a software engineer, so my “work” consists of sitting at my desk, thinking a bit, typing some code, think a little more, maybe Google something, type some more… It pays well, but it ain’t work. My parents were very old school; never owned a computer or held an email account. I still think they were never sure what I actually got paid for.

    • My dad never used a computer to do his work. He used his mind. He was an account. He was the computer. He had no college degree. His high school dimploma was all he had. He was born poor into a family of 13 kids. He worked his way up through the company becoming a regional manager by the time he retired. By your limited myopic definition of work my dad never worked in his life because all he did was use a pen and paper.

  2. From the dictionary.

    Work definition is – to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary. How to use work in a sentence. Synonym Discussion of work.

    In another 100 years when the sort of manual labor you describe is one by machine will that mean that work no longer exits? Are people like me who expend mental energy solving problem and setting strategy any less tired at the end of the week? Am I less exhausted than someone who depends physical energy? Are my efforts just leisure? This dismissal of what I as not work is abitrary and insulting.

    • Khurt, relax. There was no disrepect intended for all the other professions out there, be it behind a computer or behind a shovel. And let’s not bring parenting into this, ok? “Labor Day” was not intended of parents. (Nor does it fit in with the dictionary definition you appealed to – we don’t get paid to be parents, do we.) Click the Wikipedia link I inserted. don’t have photos of accountants or software engineers. I do have photos of lawyers and rabbis. I didn’t include them either. I appreciate your input on this post. Obviously you don’t agree. Cheers.

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