Portraits: Tome Wilson

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Every since I “officially” met Tome Wilson last summer at the Jazz On The Delaware event, I knew I wanted to do a portrait shoot with him.

Tome is a true Renaissance Man. He works full time, but also follows his passions of everything Jazz Age, Halloween, and horror in whatever time he has left. He’s incredibly creative and, frankly, must not sleep. I don’t know how he does it all, but he does.

Anyway, I wanted to do a portrait shoot with Tome, and I wanted to do it Philadelphia, when I was visiting the other week. More specifically, I wanted to do the shoot in Philly’s historic 30th Street train station.

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In doing a little research about 30th Street Station, I was surprised to find out the architect was Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the successor to Daniel Burnham’s firm in Chicago. Burham also did the Flatiron Building in New York…I’m just a big fan of his work (Read The Devil In The White City for more background, a work of fiction rooted in history.)

30th Street is a vintage structure with so many art deco elements. I knew Tome would fit right in. So, I shot him an email and he was up for it. Luckily, he works nearby so it wouldn’t be hard to get to. We exchanged some emails about my vision for the shoot. I wanted it steeply rooted in film noir, and knew Tome would be up for that.

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I got down to Philly around 3 p.m. and scouted the site for about 45 minutes, since I hadn’t been there in a couple of years. Last time I was there, it a Saturday evening and pretty quite. Now, near rush hour, the location was booming. Still, I was finding these little areas tucked away that gave me the look I wanted, but without being in anyone’s way. I didn’t get approval from anyone, but didn’t really think I needed it anyway, since I wasn’t using tripods.

As far as gear, I was going with my Canon 70D with the 24-105mm lens, my FujiX100T and my Canon Rebel loaded with B&W film.

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When Tome got there, we got right to work. I didn’t want to waste his time, and I also knew he had just put in a long day on his job. Plus, it was the start of his wife’s birthday weekend, and as much as I wanted to shoot, I knew he wanted to get home too.

Anyway, we rocked on. Tome, with his background in film and theater, is a natural in front of the camera. I had to provide very little direction. He melded in effortlessly with the vintage background. He looked he was a man that stepped out of time.

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I expected to process these in B&W or sepia, but as I was going through them, even some of the shots in color were striking to me.

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Now…in full transparency…we did encounter a slight issue. I got too close to an “Employees Only” door in the background and some security guards came up with questions. It then devolved into “Did I have permission to shoot there?”

Now, 30th is a popular destination for travelers and tourists. People are snapping photos all the time, and I mentioned as such to security. As I said, we were in no one’s way and I was shooting all handheld. I couldn’t see how that was a problem. But, muscle was being flexed, and to comply, I stopped by the Amtrak’s customer service area. Luckily, and without any issue, “Patty” gave me permission to shoot wherever I wanted. She liked Tome’s suit, too.

Overall, it was a great shot. Tome was fantastic, and I’m really happy with what I got. It helped to build my work with models and increase that experience.

I’m still adding to the gallery, but click here to see more from this shoot.

And if you ever get to Philly, stop by the historic 30th Street Station.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

 

 

 

On Assignment: 2016 TriRock Triathlon

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A couple of weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Philadelphia shooting a variety of subjects – portraiture, athletes, street, architecture. Needless to say it was a fun weekend, and I’m looking forward to sharing some those images here.

My main reason for being there was that, for the third consecutive year, I shot the TriRock Series Triathlon on assignment for Johnson & Johnson (full transparency, I work for J&J’s pharma group, in case you didn’t know that.)

Background

I have a shot list going into this event, one that I go over with the event producer beforehand (this is a pretty big event, with over 500 J&J athletes, and more than 1,000 overall. Lots of prep work with the TriRock people, the city and not to mention J&J. No small feat.) So, in addition to those shots I “have” to get, I try to work myself around to get other interesting looks, too. Because, you know, it’s all about getting your camera in a new place.

Equipment

This year, for the first time, I didn’t rent anything. In the past, I’ve often rented a second camera body and a fast 70-200mm lens. This year, frankly, I didn’t feel I needed to. So, I went into battle with my own gear:

  • Canon 70D with a 24-105mm lens
  • FujiX100T
  • Canon S110

The Fuji was set to B&W for the most part. The Canon was around my neck and the little Canon in my pocket. This kit seemed to work well for me.

 

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The Event

This is a two-day event. Saturday is the Sprint distance ( Swim: 800 meters. Bike: 15.7 miles. Run: 3.1 miles) and Sunday is the Olympic distance (Swim: 1500 meters. Bike: 24.8 miles. Run: 6.2 miles). There also is a kid’s Fun Run on Saturday as well, which is always fun to watch and more fun to shoot.

J&J employees and executives compete in both, and sometimes professional triathletes do the Sunday course, though not this year (long story involving purse money). Still, some very hardy athletes compete on Sunday. Actually, a few did both Saturday AND Sunday. Sheesh.

Event days start early. Athletes are in the water by 6:30 usually, and everything wraps up around 1. Then it’s back to the hotel to start processing images since the social media teams want them as soon as possible mean, RIGHT NOW!

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This year, the event team hired as second shooter, which was fine by me. I didn’t have to spread myself quite so thin, and could also go after some shots I normally wouldn’t have gotten.

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Whenever I shoot events, they are their own little microcosms. A few years ago, the first time I shot this event, I tried to be everywhere. Last year, it was rainy which presented it’s own issues. This year…this year was smooth. I didn’t feel rushed, I got the shots I needed to get.

I even had the chance to grab some shots for myself like the Nesquik set-up. It’s amazing how chocolate milk went from being the bane of my ’70s existence – my parents never let us drink it – to now being a super food that helps athletes recover

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And, of course, my little travel friend Flo, crossing the finish line…

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Once again, this was a very fun, adrenaline-driven event for me to shoot. Had a great time, turn around some photos that my client really liked, and even got some shooting in for myself.

Things are a-changin’, so we’ll have to see if I shoot it again next year. But, for now, TriRock 2016 is in the books!

And more to come from Philly…soon….

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

 

 

Independence Day

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I like to think I shoot a few things well. Not great or prefect, but I can snap the shutter and get back what I was hoping to.

But not fireworks.

As Clint Eastwood says in MAGNUM FORCE, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Fireworks are mine. I don’t have the inclination to get better at shooting them, nor do I wish to. Frankly, still images of fireworks, outside of some exceptions, are pretty blah to me. Not even sure I love the real things anymore, unless I’m standing on a boardwalk on the Jersey Shore watching them over the ocean.

But, there will be MANY people shooting fireworks tonight. If you still need a good primer, Joe McNally has got you covered.

This image of my boy Chase, with sparkler the other other night is about the best I can do.

So, no fireworks for me tonight I’m just going to have another burger off the grill and read 1776.

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow countrymen!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Eye Candy: David Bowman

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David Bowman sent me this postcard a few years ago, after we had worked together. (put his name into the Search on this blog and you’ll see what I’ve written previously.)

David is from Minnesota and he captures scenes like this fantastically. I’ve had this postcard tacked up in my office to provide some eye candy to that spot. He wrote me a short note on the back, which makes it special.

Check out his work for inspiration.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

 

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