Friday Noir: It’s A Steal

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Hey all,

Wanted to alert you to this. My friend, Bard Constantine, has designated the month of May as Troubleshooter Month.

Why? Because his new Mick Trubble book, The Most Dangerous Dame (love that title) drops on May 18th.

All month long, to stoke the furnace, he’s holding various raffles and giveaways. I told him I wanted in on that action.

So, we’re partnering for a cool Jersey Noir give away: I’m giving away a signed 11 x 16 noir print of your choice. These prints will be beautifully printed on glossy paper and signed by me. Suitable for framing and hanging in your man cave or hang out of your choice.

Head on over to Bard’s blog for more details on the contest.

It’ll be a great way to steal a print. You can do the crime without having to do the time.

And don’t forget to pre-order Bard’s book, The Most Dangerous Dame from Amazon.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Celebrating Nurses

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Yesterday, May 6, started National Nurses Week, with the stated goal to “celebrate the role nurses play in delivering the highest level of quality care to their patients.”

When my dad was in the hospital last fall after open-heart surgery, I had a first-hand look at the tireless work his nurses did. They attended to him, checked on him, gave him his medicine, paid attention to him, talked to him (even when he wasn’t responsive), encouraged him. All in a days work for someone that’s pulling a 12 hour shift after dealing with whatever they had to deal with at home, and out in life in general. It can’t be easy. In fact, A 2014 survey of more than 3,000 nurses found respondents to be stressed out, underslept and — at least in their own estimation — underpaid.

But what struck me was not only the care those nurses at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital showed my Dad, it’s how they engaged with me and my mom. We’re going to the hospital everyday, staying for hours. So much, so often, you start to figure out the shifts, and know who would be there before you even arrived. They were the friendly face when your loved one has tubes coming out of him. They’re they one you talk with, hoping for an encouraging word about Dad. As much as their knowledge is required for your loved one, their compassion and personality means just as much for the relative or caregiver.

About five years ago, I had the pleasure of shooting a story about a local nurse. I’m a bit hazy now on what the whole story was – heck, it could have been for Nurses Week as well. But I got the chance to spend the morning with Katie, watch her go through a part of her day. I saw the compassion she did show to her patients…all the while flipping the switch to speak professionally with a doctor or grind through the mound of paperwork she always seemed to be getting back to.

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We’ve had some nurses in our family, but I just don’t hear about too many people pursing that vocation anymore. Everyone, it seems, wants to get into digital media or something like that.

But god help us if we lose those folks with the passion to do those jobs that really need to get done – the cops and firemen and nurses and doctors. Where will we be?

Just before leaving Katie’s floor, I wanted one last “hero image”. A quick and dirty portrait with my Canon Speedlight, but I think I got it.

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So, thanks to all the nurses out there. While you deserve more than a week of recognition for the work you do, you also deserve your gratitude.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Communion Day

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Photographers often talk about how little time they have to shoot these super-important, busy people they have to shoot for big-time magazines. And the pressure.

Know what’s pressure? When the mom of the 8 year old little girl who’s communion party you’ve been asked to attend with your family asks “Hey, can you bring your camera and takes some photos?” That is pressure.

And the fact that the little girl has been in a scratchy dress, done up hair and veil for the better part of the day, and desperately wants to get out of it all so she can go play with your 8 year old little girl.

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That’s pressure.

She came bounding out of the house as soon as we arrived. It’s was mid-afternoon and warm, beautiful day. All the better to run around outside in.

I didn’t realize how little time I had with Gracie, though. Um, like 7 minutes because as soon as we were done, she immediately went to her room to change clothes.

I’m sure she had a ton of photos taken of her that day by her family. She looked beautiful and I’m sure they all looked good. Still, since I was asked, I wanted to try to get my camera in a new place and maybe grab some shots the others didn’t.

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Seven minutes. That’s all I had with her. I don’t think anyone else, though, got the portrait of her looking angelic inside a mud-splattered Jeep Wrangler with big, knobby tires.

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Get the camera in a new place.

Work the scene.

Entire To Detail.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

JSP Visual Week In Review 05 | 02 | 15

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May Day! May Day!

Ok, I’m a day late for May Day. But we did make it to Month #5 of this year 2015 A.D.

Here in the Great State of New Jersey, the grass has greened up nicely, the buds on the trees have broken through and the pollen count is through the roof. My sinuses tell me so.

As I sat down to do this post, I thought I really didn’t shoot much this week. But…I did. It was just with a new tool, not my regular cameras (Canon 50D, Canon S110). Last week, my job pried my trusty Blackberry out of my hands. Said they are supporting it anymore for work. I had to “upgrade” to a real smartphone. I don’t like the Evil Apple Empire so I chose a base model Android device – the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime (had to stay within a certain budget range.) All week I’ve been trying to figure this little guy out. And, of course, take pictures with it. (Post coming up on that soon). So, most of the photos up top here were shot with that, and processed with SnapSeed.

Anyway,Happy May. Back up that April work!

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* Happy Birthday Philipe Halsman (May 2, 1906 – June 25, 1979)

* Because of that new smartphone, I’m now on Instragram.

* It’s Troubleshooter Month! I’ll be partnering with Bard to give away prints to help support the new book.

* Good advice on journalism. And in general.

* History of The Jersey Shore Music – good read by Wallace Stroby.

* David Letterman reflects on 33 years of late-night television. (Love the cups shot by Damon Winter)

* When Photography Campaigns For Change.

* “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another to make a portrait of who they are.” ~ Philipe Halsman

PS: This post went out early for some reason. Hope you’re seeing the full post! Sorry about that.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

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