JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 07.29.17

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Wow, last Saturday in July already.

We’re heading into the final 1/3 of the summer. Already. Where did July go?

I’ve seen Back To School ads (seems early, but with some part of the US going back around mid-August, I guess advertisers have to account for that.) I’ve also see a Halloween display in our local Acme supermarket. That seems WAY early.

The days are slipping by and I haven’t made much progress on my Musicians &  The Mosaic project. Lots of “Yeah, that’s cool!” from folks, but haven’t been able to lock any in. Hoping to do at least eight more before Labor Day. Better get moving!

I’m coming off a vacation week. More of a staycation as we stayed local (well, my wife and kids took an overnight trip with friends, I stayed around the estate.) Got some yard work done, threw in a great trail run/workout (I have an obstacle course race next weekend and feel woefully under-trained). Did some shooting but didn’t grind on a couple of new personal projects I was hoping to start.

I also had to bill out for some design work I did…and the reaction I got was underwhelming. Not for my work, per se, but for the amount of time I figured it took and the estimation from my client that “more should have been done in that time frame.” I was a bit surprised. I think people don’t realize that it takes time for proper design.

I’m trying to get something to fit, to flow in a small space, make it work with the image, determine the best font (yes, even that takes time).

I think it goes back to the old “oh…thought you could just do this for me…for free.” But, again, we don’t ask the baker for free doughnuts…we don’t ask the plumber for a free dishwasher fix…we don’t ask the mechanic to do our car service for free. Why does this perpetuate with creatives?

I don’t know.

Anyway, end of rant

What I do know is…it’s the end of the month. Back up your work.

Make prints.

Get it done.

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This Week’s Links:

Birthdays this weeks: Stanley Kubrick, Elliott Erwitt, William Eggleston, Joe McNally, Agustín Casasola.

RIP photo editor legend, John G. Morris

Now is a good time to watch the documentary on John Morris, Get The Picture. It’s on Amazon Prime and on YouTube.

What I read this week: A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang

Also: Dolly by Tony Knighton.

What I watched this week: OZARK on Netflix, with Jason Bateman. Really liked it.

New Chester Himes biography

Long read: The Toxic Saga of the World’s Greatest Fish Market

“The camera gear we have at our fingertips now constitutes a one-way ticket to Imagination City.” – Joe McNally

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

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Event: Noir At The Bar Portraits

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Noir At The Bar.

Or, as we like to say.

Noir @ The Bar.

I’ve written about it before. Once here (the first one in New Jersey!) Once here, round two.

These are fun writer events that are open to anyone who wants to come, or wander in, to the bar where they are happening.

Recently a group of top-notch writers crowded into Shade Bar in Greenwich Village, and for two hours brought their best stuff.

The group of writers on the slate was especially strong because Thrillerfest was going on and many were in town for that.

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Gents like Joe Clifford (San Francisco) and Brian Panowich (Tennessee) were in the Shade house. These guys don’t get to NYC to often, so it was cool to have them in the house for this.

Also, for me, it was great to meet Joe and Brian. It was back in early 2014 that I reached out to Joe to see if I could get some pics into the new TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND anthology.

We all know that turned out.

Joe and I have kept in touch about various things (books, Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem) over the years. Facebook is good for that. But with him on West Coast, I don’t  know that I ever expected to meet him. Much less do some headshots.

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Actually, that was my goal for this N@TB – to do some more author headshots. I got in touch with Jen Conley who was organizing the event, and asked her to put it out there with all the writers. Time-for-portfolio: They give me some time to build my portfolio and I’ll give them some nice headshots in return.

I got some bites.

Angel Colon, who has a new Blacky Jaguar novel out, took me up on my offer.

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And so did writer, illustrator, and Emmy-winner Eric Beetner.

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Finally, Danny Gardner wanted some headshots. To be honest, I only had cursory knowledge of Danny. I knew he had a new book, nay a FIRST book out, A Negro and an Ofay.

I didn’t know that he was a screenwriter, an actor, a director and even did (does?) stand-up comedy. All this I didn’t know.

I should have had an inkling though, because once he got in front of the camera, the light went on.

Face *snap* Different face *snap* Different face *snap* Fourth face *snap*

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To top it off, I won Danny’s book in a raffle and got him to sign it for me.

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Best of all, though, he put them to good use almost immediately.

Danny G

The rest of the Noir @ The Bar was pretty fantastic. Shade Bar is small, narrow like a shoe box on its side. It was a hot evening in NYC and the readings were really good. The one portrait I wished I could have shot, but just never got the chance too, was of Brian Panowich.

Brian wrote Bull Mountain, which I think I read in early 2015. Amazing novel. Think it’s going be made into a movie as some point. Brian is an ex-firefighter and while we’ve been Facebook friends for a while (and are both in TROUBLE too), never really thought our paths would cross.

But they did here in Greenwich Village. The best I could do, though, was a snap of him during his reading.

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Brian Panowich

I wouldn’t have minded shooting the huge BULL MOUNTAIN in script across the top of his back…apparently authors getting ink when they finish a book is a thing…especially with the stack of writers I was hanging with that evening.

Oh well, guess I left a little on the table for the next time.

(That IS Brian’s bourbon I used as a prop for the photo that opens this piece though.) Cover 1

One last thing: If you’re looking for new writers to read…please do check out anyone mentioned in this post. All top-notch.

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

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BTS Sunday: Amy Fletcher

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When I’m on a corporate website (and since I oversee a corporate website in my day jobs, I look at a lot of other websites), I always check out their Leadership page.

One of my nits is when their leader headshot are all mish-mash and don’t have a flow – some are environmental headshots, some are against a back ground. I like it when there is a uniform or a flow.

A few years ago, when I was with J&J Corporate, we had a new CEO coming in. And while I hired David Burnett to cover his first day on the job, we still needed new headshots in a variety of environmental settings for him to use with media requests.

To find the photographer to do this, I reached to a few of my friends on LinkedIn. One colleague from a financial planning company suggested Amy E. Fletcher, a Brooklyn-based shooter.

I checked out Amy’s portfolio out, gave her a call…and a good five-year working relationship started.

When I moved from the J&J corporate gig to one of their associated companies, I hung onto Amy’s number. Not only do I still use her, but other J&J businesses do so as well.

The above photo typifies Amy’s work: Using natural light, one assistant, one reflector, a 70-300 mm lens, Canon 5DMarkIII camera.

Easy, simple, low footprints. And best of all, quality work.

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Production shot of the BTS image

Amy’s not only a solid shooter but she turns the headshots around super quick, which is often the second goal of the shoot (the first being beautiful executive headshots.)

She’s shot me, too, and I’ve used her image as my LinkedIn headshot for a while too (till I switched it out for one I shot).

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I’ve learned a lot about shoots nice headshots from watching her work. Recently, for my job, I photographed a day-long meeting for financial analysts. I was shooting for my company, but I was thrilled to see Amy there as well, still shooting for J&J.

Except Amy had more than a camera with her…she had a pretty big baby bump too! When I last dropped Amy a note a few weeks ago, she still hadn’t had the baby. But I’m pretty sure she’s now not only a fantastic photographer, but a brand-new Mom, too!

Check out her site and follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 07.22.17

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Yesterday, at approximately 5 p.m., I turned on my “out of office” flip on my work email and officially started vacation.

By making peach cobbler. With peaches from Westhaven Farm, just up the street.

Going to me a “staycation” as they say. Just staying in the local area and bumming around.

Nothing wrong with that. It’s weird though. Since I work from home most of the time now, staycation basically means just not checking work email.

I’ll wake up the same time (roughly 5:30 a.m.) With three kids and two dogs, one being a 6 month old puppy, I don’t sleep late. Just not in my DNA any more.

My days have a good flow going to them. But if I’m shooting, I’ll still have to get on the computer to process. And I’m backed up with processing and some blogging here as I was busy this week. I have a couple of fun shoots I want to talk about, some learnings from them.

I still also want to share some new gear I’ve picked up recently. Very budget-friendly, but gear that I think will help me solve problems on set.

And I do a lot of Kindle reading. Which is good and bad. There’s always a book to read. But then there’s always the temptation to go see what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, and other bookmarked sites.

The temptation is real, my friends.

Anyway, I’m on vacation now. Maybe I’ll watch an oldie but goodie…about vacation.

If you need me, ping me. Just don’t send an email to my work email.

I won’t read it for a week.

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Aforementioned peach cobbler

 

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This week’s birthdays: Charles Rettew Sheeler, Bernice Abbott, James Abbe, Arthur Rothstein, Russell Lee,  Henri-Victor Regnault

What I am reading this week: A Bullet for Cinderella

What I started reading this week: Jimmy Breslin

Paul Newman had style.

Cool Twitter account to follow: Photo History

Kids describe their dream job to an illustrator.

“Photography is my ticket to the world.” ~ James Abbe

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