Event: Global Citizen Festival 2018

Group Selfi

I don’t normally start off a post with me front and center but kinda had to on this account.

A couple of weeks ago, as September came to a close, I had the great honor of heading back to Central Park to photograph the Global Citizen Festival for Johnson & Johnson.

While the day is made up of stars of stage, screen and radio, other parts focus in on those doing great work within our worldly communities.

That’s where J&J comes in as part of this…the company’s work to to develop an HIV vaccine.

Very great work indeed, and that’s what I was there to do – capture the stage moments of the the Chief Scientific Officer of J&J, Paul Stoffels.

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Paul Stoffels, right, Chief Scientific Officer, J&J

Paul is quite an interesting individual in his own right. He was on the ground in Africa when the AIDs crisis first hit, trying to find a solution. Still working at it.

My other goal was to record the day for J&J…the employees there, all that was going on. While I’m freewheeling a bit, it’s always a challenge to try to figure out what are the photos the main team wants. The shot charts are usually pretty loose, so it’s up to me to fill in the blanks.

So, I do what I think I do best…I work the scene, look for people in red shirts.

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JNJ_mkrajnak_092918_DSCF8792And the all important “Sea of Red” shot…

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But, once I got the main shots…I could freewheel and get the shots of the stars. And there were many.

John Legend.

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Hugh Jackman

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Cardi B…

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And, the one and only…Janet Jackson.

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I had the honor of shooting the Global Citizen Festival last year, and it was a great experience.

Having a year under my belt, knowing where I had to be and when, made this year a bit easier. Then again, this year had it’s own twist.

Right after Paul Stoffels got off stage the first time (he had two stage spots), I distinctly heard four or five soft pops. Like *pop pop*…*pop pop pop*

I did not think it was gunfire…at least not nearby gunfire. But, people panicked. For about 40 minutes, there was craziness to the right of where I standing.

Me, I stood up on the gate and just tried to record what was going on.

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It was a crazy scene. All I could think was “This is how quick it could happen.”

Luckily, it seemed like it was just water containers filled with air popping, but it was enough to cause some unrest.

I had my 70-300mm lens on my Canon 70D and just didn’t think to move to my 24-105 for fear of missing something- it was all happening right in front of me! So, I just used my Fuji X100T to record the scene, and even thought to move it to B&W since it seems to shoot faster that way.

NYPD did a great job of dealing with it all, and getting the crowd under control. But, man, it was heavy.

Aside from this hiccup, it was a fun day, a fun event to shoot. Unfortunately, I left my little Canon point-and-shoot in a cab on the way back to the hotel after the event, but hopefully I’ll replace that soon.

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

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