Corporate Work: Creating Art, Battling RA

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Artist Leslie “Wren” Vanderver at her work table. Loved the one light look, just adjusted my f stop and EV balance to get this look.

This past June, I flew out to Sacramento, California, to work on a story of an artist for my day job.

Leslie “Wren” Vanderver is an artist who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis but doesn’t let the pain in her hands stop her.

In addition to the art she creates, she’s also a journalist, blogger and full-time caregiver to her elderly mom.

I was out there with a cameraman, Kevin Nelson, so that we could put together a video to go along with the text story. We’ve worked on-site together on two other stories like this now now: A Colorful Life in 2015 Art As Therapy in 2016, but Kevin has done video on two other stories like this as well.

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Wren at work at her art table.

In addition to art directing the video shoot (and being the off-camera interviewer), my goal with the photos was to capture various stills that I could use on the company’s social media vehicles. This includes environmental portraits and “in-action” shots.

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Beautiful light for a portrait in the breezeway of her apartment.

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Beautiful light in Wren’s bedroom. Not something we’d use, but I wanted take advantage of the light.

Wren was just in her 30’s when she was diagnosed with RA, and serving in the military. We got a little lucky she had a photo of her in her Air Force uniform. I used that for a portrait.

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Wren often attends and/or speaks at health conferences, or conferences dedicated to immunological diseases. When I saw her conference badges hanging on the edge of a mirror, I  knew I wanted a “hero” shot of her wearing the badges – in the vein of the Olympic medal shot we often see.

When my colleagues saw the shot later on after we got back, one said “Love that shot with the conference badges. Reminds me of one of those shots with the Olympic medals.” Heh.

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BTS of Kevin filming b-roll of Wren.

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BTS of Kevin running his drone.

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Wren with her mom and her daughter. I sent sent a print of this one.

The story, and video, recently got posted to our website, which you can read here. Here’s how it looks on our website homepage now.

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Featured story on Janssen.com.

This was a great project to work on overall (except that I left one of of my USB drives from Day 2 of the shoot at the hotel. They were unresponsive to send it to me so I just stopped trying. Good thing I had it backed up to Dropbox.)

Kevin is fantastic to work with and it was fun to meet Wren and her family, and tell her story. We’re already planning the next one!

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

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Labor Day 2018

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Farmer, New Jersey

Today, in the United States, is Labor Day. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the “working man.” It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a federal holiday by Act of Congress in 1894

This day is not for me. I don’t work.

I mean, of course I do. I do something full time that earns me commission every two weeks that allows me and my family to live comfortably.

But I basically sit in front of a computer all day and “get things done.” At the end of the day I shut it down (or at lease disengage from my company network until I turn it back on again the next day.

But I don’t work – at least I don’t think so. My father enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard after high school and when he got out, he became a Pennsylvania Corrections Officer for more than 30 years. He worked on cell blocks, pulled guard duty in the tower and generally spent his days around some pretty bad people.

That’s working.

So, today – to me – is for the farmers and the construction people, the engineers and the mechanics, the scientists, the law enforcement departments and the fire departments, the truckers and the builders, the mothers and the fathers that are raising their families anyway they can.

It’s these people that “Labor Day” is meant for.

So to them I say….Thanks. Enjoy your day. Here’s a collection of my photos of people I’ve shot over the year people that I feel exemplify for whom Labor Day is for:

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Nurse, New Jersey

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Souvenir vendor, New York

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Construction Worker, Pennsylvania

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Bicycle rickshaw driver, New York

 

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Scientist, Pennsylvania

 

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Little League coach, New Jersey

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Hotel Front Desk, India

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Facilities Workers, Italy

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Barbers, New Jersey

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Lifeguard, New Jersey

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Hands of a fireman, Pennsylvania

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My Dad’s CO uniform shirt, which still I have in my closet

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

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BTS Sunday: Science!

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Did you know that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? And Blood Cancer Awareness Month?

My company, Janssen, has a main focus on oncology research. And I’ve been fortunate to travel to a lot of our campuses that have labs on them, and meet the scientists. One of the favorite parts of my job, in fact.

Doubly fun when I get to travel with Gary S. Chapman and his wife, Vivian. Gary, Vivian and I have spent a lot of time in labs all over world these last few years.

While they aren’t the most sexy places to shoot in (no smoking beakers) it’s really cool to get up close and see these scientists at work, and learn a bit about what they are doing.

And also really great to see Gary and Vivian capture science at work. While I may not be the main shooter, it’s fun to art direct and capture the behind-the-scenes.

Here’s Gary doing the main shooting at a lab in La Jolla, California, Vivian supplying the fill light…and I’m doing what little art direction I can.

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

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 09.01.18

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And here it is.

September.

Can’t say I’m happy about it.

Oh, September is a swell month and all – kids go back to school, football starts in earnest, a new routine sets in, weather is still really nice.

But it ain’t Summer.

If you’ve been tailing me around these parts for any length of time, you know my sweet spot is Memorial Day to Labor day. June-July-August above all else.

The calendar has flipped. Labor Day is in two days.

Then again, a new month is a new time to start over (heck, every day is that, really). But why wait until January 1 to get righted.

So, that’s what I’m personally going to do – reset myself in some areas (mostly diet-and-fitness related).

As usual, I’m sad to see August end. On the other hand, it was a heckuva summer and we made some great memories.

Don’t forget to back up all that August work (I backed-up yesterday). And make some prints of all that fun!

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This Week’s Links:

What I watched this week: Ace of Hearts (kids, Bo loved it too)

What I’m reading this week: Last Car To Elysian Fields and The Storytellers Secret (These two will end my Summer Reading List)

What I purchased this week (spur of the moment, basically, as I saw a sale): GoPro Hero5 Black

NYT: Capturing how John McCain was honored across the country

Trailer: Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable

RIP Erich Lessing

FT: Asbury Park: Boom or Bust On The Boardwalk

The Meaning of Food in Crime Fiction

“The streets are full of admirable craftsmen, but so few practical dreamers.” ~ Man Ray, who had a birthday this past week.

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

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