Getting Bullish For SBJ

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Djenaba Parker, General Counsel, NY Red Bulls

Back in August, I got a call from a PR friend, Sammy Steinlight, to see if I could do some portraits of a NY Red Bulls executive, Djenaba Parker.

Djenaba is the Red Bulls General Counsel and Chief Talent Officer and was being named to the Sports Business Journal’s Game Changers list.

Sammy said he could get me about an hour with her, and it would take place at the Red Bulls stadium in Harrison, NJ, about an hour from me up the NJ Turnpike. (Every time I hear about Harrison, just over the bridge from NY, I think of the Stallone movie, Cop Land. Not sure if it’s true or not, but I thought I had once heard Harrison was the inspiration for the fictional town of Garrison in the movie. Not according to the Wiki, but whatever.)

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So, one steamy morning, I drove up to Harrison and meet Sammy outside the VIP doors. I got there early to do a quick scout, as we were to meet Djenaba at 9.

The field sparkled and I definitely wanted to use it in the photos. I had some some Google Image research on the field, so I knew the logo was in the seats, not at midfield. While’s she is on the legal team, I still wanted to have something to signify the Red Bulls. Sammy was able to snag me a soccer ball from the marketing department, along with a scarf which are popular with soccer fans.

As we did our scout, I came across a number of spots both on the field and inside that would work. The goal was to give the Sammy and Djenaba enough different looks to choose from to send to the SBJ.

Sammy was a willing stand in.


Unprocessed. Shot with my little Canon SX620 scouting camera


Armed with a number of good options, but knowing she a busy executive, I was ready to roll as soon as she came down to meet us. She was ready too, with a change of outfit and a willing smile. It was getting really humid so I wanted to get through the outside photos first.

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This was my favorite.

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Very tough to get the logo showing correctly. If I were more adept at Photoshop, I probably could have cloned a ball in.

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Overall, the shoot went great. Djenaba was great to work with. Despite being a busy legal person, having her calendar blocked for an hour really helped. Plus, I had done some  research on her, so I was able to chat about her favorite things (Georgetown basketball and USC football).

Had some fun outtakes, too.


Employing Sammy to hold the reflector


Big on-field fans were drying the field.


In the end, here’s what ran in the SBJ:


Imagine my surprise – horror – when I saw the purple photo. But, after looking through the rest of the section, I saw that using the purple was a design element. It looks nice…but I prefer the red, to be honest.

Overall, a really good shoot – efficient, lots of good looks, great person to photography. Hopefully, I’ll get to do more work with the  Red Bulls!

And, because it was so humid, Sammy sent me on my way with some chilly refreshments!

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© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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