JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 08.05.17

JSP Visual Week In Review_080517

Lookit us, we made it into August.

To me that means a couple of things:

  1. Pretty soon my lawn will burn out and I won’t be cutting it as much
  2. We’re in the last third of the summer

This week hummed along at a nice pace. Went to the Statue of Liberty last Sunday. A couple of super busy days at work (it doesn’t slow down in the summer, don’t know people think it does) and some puttering around town.

Got some prints in, mailed some prints out.

Ordered a new piece of gear. I’ve been on a bit of gear buying binge recently, and I’d like to go over that at some point but just haven’t gotten around to it. Soon, I promise.

But I want to put this out there to my readers: I got an email from a neighbor asking me their thoughts. Their teenage daughter is interested in photography and is asking my opinion on if I think they should have her take photography classes or learn online via YouTube and such.

I haven’t responded yet because I’m not exactly sure what to tell him. As a parent, I know photography classes can be expensive. Not that we don’t want to do that for our kids, but jeez…another bill.

I also know that I’m self-taught. I’ve taken one lighting class a number of years ago. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t watched a ton of videos and read books/websites/magazine articles to help me learn my machine.

More importantly, though, I’ve shot. And shot. And shot and shot and shot. That’s the real way I think you “learn” to be a photographer. You have to develop that eye. And that comes from practice.

I’m tempted to have him tell her to self-learn but take classes on Photoshop and the like (again, I’ve learned that through trial-and-error and YouTube).

The challenge is time. I’ve sat up many a nights and early mornings watching how-to videos. Maybe a teen doesn’t have that type of time. Maybe they’re better at butt-in-the-seat learning since they are in that mode.

So, I’ll throw it out there. What do you guys think? For someone starting out, would you recommend photography classes? Or do they just need to keep getting out there, shooting and learning?

Interested in your thoughts.

But now, I’m off to the races.


Birthdays this week: Edgar de Evia, Jack Delano, Del Ankers, Burk Uzzle, William H Tipton

RIP Sam Shepard

What I watched this week: Niagara. Love the colors. Might make a run there by late summer.

What are Magnum photographers reading this summer.

On the Black Photography Compendium by John Edwin Mason

Succeeding in editorial photography

Leo’s notebooks are available.

Elliott Erwitt’s lost photographs of Pittsburgh

“The incredible pleasure of photography is that you have to be there to do it.” ~ David Hurn

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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Friday Noir: Dialing For Dollars


Uh, hello?

You have the money?

Um, almost.

Almost isn’t good enough.

I’m working on it. It’ ain’t easy to get that amount of cabbage in such a short time.

Well get it. You know the deal.

Yeah, I know.

No money…you can kiss the sweet little sister goodbye.

Don’t get all antsy, I’ll get it.

You better, all’s I’m saying.

I gotcha. Sit tight. I still have six hours.

Yep, six hours is all you got, alls I’m sayin’.


Six hours to oil up the gat, fuel up the rod and go bring the beautiful baby home.


Deep into the archives for this one. Back in 2008, I was part of a production called Two Detectives that ran off Broadway. Seriously, just a block off of Broadway in NYC.

In addition to contributing photography to the play, I photographed their final dress rehearsal. This is actor James Venable who played Detective Bobby Sullivan in the play.

I’m always amazed at the opportunities this camera has brought me.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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Make Prints 2017: #6

(c)Make Prints 6_JerseyStyle Photography_080117

I got behind on making my June prints.

Not sure how that happened. I had the whole month of July to submit the order.

And I just never did.

Not sure why. I guess just lazy.

But, I finally got my June prints made. Ninety-nine beauties of glossy goodness.


Also had a few of these made. Never get tired of seeing prints of this guy.

Zoltan, your Springsteen print is on its way. Sorry for the delay, thanks again for donating to our Water Walk. Enjoy it in California.

Kris, your 8×10 Springsteen prints are on their way too. Enjoy them in Belgium.

So…have you made prints recently?

Don’t be lazy, like me.

Make prints.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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Corporate Work: Headshots, Oh Boy!

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Translational Medicine2_071617

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a colleague wondering if I could do some headshots for the Translational Medicine team at my company.

The team was putting together a presentation for internal meetings they will be having this fall, and wanted consistent headshots to go with the deck. It’s a group of seven (with one of them being in La Jolla, California) so while I wouldn’t be able to do the full team, I could get most of them done (they weren’t about to fly me out to Cali for one shot. Oh well.)

Note: I shot seven TM people. The three extras were people who heard about my shoot and asked if they can get in on it. Sure thing! No skin off my pixels.

I was familiar with the building where they all sit, and actually had often thought the main walkway area would be a cool spot to do photos. There’s a striking painting in the sitting area, there’s overhead skylights for nice natural light, and I also noticed some great shadows and lines that naturally occur on the wall. That’s the good part. The bad part is that it can also create some harsh shadows and I didn’t have anything to diffuse that overhead light. Note to self…

I got to the shoot early (good thing, too, because even though I’m an employee, there was a mix-up with the camera pass I was supposed to have and precious time was wasted in getting that squared away.

Once I got in, though, I immediately went to the spot I wanted to shoot in to have a quick scout and set up.

There were a number of nice areas within a small spot and my goal was to shoot everyone in multiple set-ups to provide some difference in background and shots. So, I staked out four areas (a X of black gaffer tape on the carpet marked the spot.) To see where the light was falling, I made some test shots.






By the time 1:30 rolled around, and my first subjects came on set, I was ready to go.

As you can see by the opening montage, I did get a nice mix of backgrounds and looks. Shooting with my Canon 70D and my Fuji X100t (for the B&W images) I was able to submit at least four headshots (including at least one B&W file) to each person as final, hi-res, print-ready files and they could select they ones they wanted to use for their presentation…and/or also their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile pics.

While I liked the final files, I also liked some of the “out takes” as well.



Victor Dishy_mkrajnak_071817_MG_8725

Sue Shae_bw_071817_DSCF9372

So, what was the good and bad take-aways from this shoot? What did I learn? Here you go:


  • Got there early and was already and set up before the subjects came onto set. Give yourself enough time. Better to be ready and wait, rather than rushing. The whole mess with the photo pass could have screwed me up but it didn’t.
  • A few weeks ago, while in Home Depot, I purchased a rolling toolbox from Husky for about $60. I liked the price and the opportunity it presented. It’s big and on wheels and, in it’s first real use, worked well. for me. Here’s my rolling gear set up. My new apple box came in handy too.
  • I feel I made good use of a small space to give different scenes. A couple of years ago, I may have just stood everyone in the same spot. Now, I know to work the scene and get as many looks in as I can.
  • I had 15 minutes with each: Had to say hello, get them comfortable and get started to keep them on schedule. I had to keep in mind these folks were scientists. They don’t get photos taken too often. They aren’t comfortable in front of the camera. It’s my job (our job) as the photographer to make them comfortable quickly and seamlessly. I asked everyone what they did as an ice breaker. I asked them where they were from (Answers: US, Beirut, Serbia, India) to get them at ease.
  • I took advantage of the natural light and lines. But that leads me to…


  • I didn’t break out any lights to provide some fill. That sunlight was coming at almost directly overhead. As prepared as I was, I was shy to put up a light stand. I have to overcome that. I don’t have go all Joe McNally on lighting…but set up the soft box or shoot-through umbrella. It was all with me and I just pulled it short.
  • I didn’t have anything to beat down or diffuse that light. Wish I had a big silk to do so but I didn’t. Maybe something to add to the gear bag?
  • Working alone, I could really use my fill-light reflector. I need to pick up an articulating arm for my light stand to help me hold a reflector. That would have helped.

We live and shoot and learn, folks. I learned a lot in doing just these simple headshots. I’ll take these learnings into the next one.

Group Photo_flo_071617_MG_8836

Flo, happy to make it into the group shot

If you have any questions or comments about this shoot, please shoot me a note or drop them in the comments below. Happy to answer. It’s a long photographic journey, folks…always learning!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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