Spartan Up Sunday

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There’s a few ways you can end your vacation.

* You can wallow in the fact that you have to back to work.

* You can just rush headlong into work.

* You can run a Spartan Race and for at least three to four hours, forget that you even have a job. Because if you don’t pay attention to the steep ski slope you’re running up, or the rocky, pitted, muddy trails you’re running down, or the Home Depot bucket filled with stone that you’re hauling back UP that mountain, or the monkey bars, lake swim, wall climbs, more running and fire jump….you’re toast.

I did the first on on Saturday.

I didn’t do #2 at all.

I did the last one on Sunday.

This was my third OCR (obstacle course race), my second Spartan Race. Back in 2013, I did my first one, the Tough Mudder. It was OK, but I didn’t really did on the ice cold water and the electricity.

Last year, I did a Spartan Super, an 8-10 mile run/obstacle course in New Jersey. The one I did yesterday was a little shorter – 5 miles, but it was held at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, PA.

And that mountain was. And steep. And rocky. And muddy. And hot. And the 20+ obstacles kicked my butt.

Did ok though. Out of 98 guys in my 45-49 age range, I finished 8th.

Of course, since I was racing, I didn’t shoot much (not at the race, anyway. More on that in another post). However, on the way back to my truck, with my medal around my neck and my Canon S110 in my hand, I caught this photo of a later start wave. Camera ready, always be looking. And shooting.

Got very lucky with the lone, last starter running through the smoke.

That said, I call this photo Uncle Jessie. ‘Cause the guy in the foreground…well, he looks like a certain someone from back in the day.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

JSP Visual Week In Review 07 | 11 | 15

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If I ever get to ask Neil deGrasee Tyson a question, I’m going to ask him why a week of work takes for ever but a week of vacation goes by in a flash, leaving you less fulfilled than when it started.

Well, I don’t know about less fulfilled really. My vacation is coming to an end. Late last night, 3/5ths of my family came in from their trip to Canada. Hugs and kisses all around but I haven’t even really talked to them yet as everyone pretty much went right to bed. Earlier, Matt and I came home from our second trip of the week to Asbury Park, had some pizza and called it a day.

I had such a good time with the little guy this week – I hope he remembers it as much as I do. I got some stuff done on my “staycation” but not as much as I wanted. Again, the time, the week flew, and I need Neil to tell me why.

And, for much of the week I had my camera in my hand. That’s how I now experience the world, how I document, how I remember. Big trips, little trips, big things, little things. I document, it’s what I now too. The shooting life, as Sam Abell called it.

So, a new work week will start on Monday. Vacation will be a thing of the past, but I’ll still try to steal moments here and there.

One more thing to do, tomorrow. Then, back at it.

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This Week’s Links

* The dark side of Atticus?

* Stare At Your Phone More.

* Meet Italy’s ghost hunters.

* Jack Black as R.L. Stine.

* “I’ve always wanted to be aware of what’s going on around me, and I’ve wanted to use photography as an instrument of research into and reporting on the life of my own time.” ~ Paul Strand

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Of The 4th of July And People Named Bruce, Frank, Danny, Marie and Matt

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“Sandy, the fireworks are hailin’ over Little Eden tonight
Forcin’ a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July..”.

A very fine photographer I kinda know, Ryan Struck, posted some sweet 4th of July/Asbury Park photos he shot last weekend.

I, too, was in Asbury Park on the 4th. To me, there’s two really cool places to be on July 4: Philadelphia (’cause, you know, the Declaration of Independence and all…) and Asbury Park. The latter so because of the song.

This year, I got the chance to be in both spots. Since I took my wife and 2/3rds of my kids to the Philly International Airport the morning of the 4th, me and Matt swung down to Independence Hall early. Super cool.

We came back into NJ, had some lunch, then hit the road for Asbury Park.

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On our way to Frank’s Deli (the lead here), we swung through Ocean Grove and caught a cool ride at the Windmill.

Frank’s was packed, and maybe it was due to the recent Anthony Bourdain piece. Or maybe it was because it’s just a damn tasty joint. It was a 20 minute wait for a hot meatball sub, so we downshifted to the 5 minute wait for the cold turkey hoagie. Salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, no onions, so worries. It was worth it. I thought I’d have half, and bring the other half home. Nope. Matt demolished that other half. “This is GOOD!” he said.

We hit Cookman Ave, juiced the meter for a couple of hours, grabbed our shovels and buckets and hit the beach. The sun out (for now) and we were looking forward to a good time. First stop, though, was the Danny Clinch pop-up store in Convention Hall. I had a print with me that I was hoping, if Danny was there, he’d sign. No love, though. He wasn’t around.

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Still, Asbury Park, one of my absolute favorite NJ communities, was bustling on this holiday. Super glad to see all the people out and out about.

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Unfortunately, the clouds rolled into to AP just the time I ordered Matt his strawberry ice cream. We hustled to the car as some big drops began to splatter. Still…..got to shoot Bruce in AP…

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From the looks of Ryan’s photos, it cleared, and the fireworks went off over Little Eden. By that time, though, we were home, watching baseball.


Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh, love me tonight and I promise I’ll love you forever
Oh, I mean it, Sandy, girl…

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Portrait Session With CJ Carpenter

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of heading down to Philadelphia to shoot some new headshots for author CJ Carpenter.

CJ and I got to “know” each other a couple of years ago, through Facebook. She’s friends with Terrence McCauley, whom I shot some headshots for last year. She liked what she saw and asked if I could do some new ones for her. Of course, I said I’d love to.

We were scheduled to do this shoot in April, but life got in the way and I had to reschedule. Kind of glad I did, though, because I think this was better than it would have been in April.

I got down to her part of Philly (kinda Center City/South Philly-ish) in the late afternoon on a Friday so that I could scout. I knew the late-day light would be getting really nice. As I walked around her block, I shot some test shots and found a number of areas and set-ups that we could use. Once I was content, I texted her and said I’d be at the little cafe around the corner waiting for her.

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She came by about 10 minutes later, and we sat to chat. Since we’ve only corresponded over Facebook, text and email, I wanted her to be comfortable with me. Actually, it was like we were long-lost friends. We chatted about our lives, and had plenty of laughs. In fact, part of the challenge with the whole shoot was how much CJ laughed. She was having a good time, but wanted some serious shots – that proved to be a bit of a problem.

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Don’t get me wrong – it was great she was having a good time. She’s comfortable in front of the camera we got a lot of good shots.

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We even involved some of the neighbors to help us have a little fun.

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In today’s day and social media age, I feel you have to shoot with that in mind. While you never really want to have someone dead-on in your frame (not a hard and fast rule), I still tried to keep some possible advertising in mind for CJ and the book that she has coming out….today!

So, here’s what Twitter ad could look like.

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Or this.

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Of course, we had to get Flo involved too.

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And the best part about shooting authors? Signed swag.

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We shot for about an hour and had a great time. The light was great, CJ had a good time, and I was really happy we were about to get this shoot in in time for her new book release. If you like crime fiction/thrillers, check her out on Amazon or in your local books store.

Check out more of my author headshots here.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

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