Still Runnin’ At Forty

Born To Run 40

None of us ever know when, or if, that big break will come.

Yesterday, August 25, marked the 40 anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band’s landmark album, Born To Run. Bruce labored over this album for months, trying to make it perfect. Legend has it, they were doing final mixes on it as they were loading up the van, literally, to head out on tour. He just couldn’t pull the trigger to give final sign off. Then he had to. He, and the band, were off, in more ways than one.

He also tells the story that the songs on Born To Run are all pieces of a story that takes place during one hot, muggy night at the Jersey Shore. Yesterday was a hot, muggy day. I was supposed to head to Asbury Park to do some portraits for someone, but the threat of evening rain cancelled that shoot.

But by late afternoon, it hit me – go shoot 40 portraits in Asbury Park to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Born To Run. A quick little photo project. With my family in Wildwood, NJ, for a few days, and me just dog sitting, I had nothing holding me back.

My initial thought was to have people hold up lyrics to the songs on the album. But as I rolled into Asbury Park and up Cookman Ave, I spied Hold Fast Records. I quickly parked, ran across the street, and bought BTR for $6 in about 30 seconds. The album with that absolute CLASSIC image of Bruce and Clarence Clemons, shot by Eric Meoloa. (now on TIME’s Lightbox as a supreme storm chaser…)


The new plan: Forty portraits of forty Springsteen fans holding the record on the fortieth anniversary of it issue.


Welp…it didn’t quite work out that way. I put two hours worth of money in the meter. I shot my first portrait just before 6 p.m. in front of The Stone Pony.

BTR portraits

Two hours later, I had shot just 20 portraits. It was a lot harder finding Springsteen fans than I though, especially in Asbury Park. Some folks I spoke with were vehemently against him too! Like, wouldn’t even touch the album.

And the two cats sitting on a boardwalk bench who said they’d never heard of him.

But the people I did meet, they were great. By chance, I met (and photographed) the pork-pie hatted Paul Whistler, an Asbury Park musical legend who counts original E Street Band drummer, Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez” as his drummer. As well as a young dude in an Asbury Park baseball cap who was a musician as well. He perched on the railing for me and said Born To Run was one of his favorite songs.

I also had two long conversations with two different couples, both giving me great stories of Springsteen shows they had seen.

And one young guy, Paul, who kinda came up to me to show me the Tramps Like Us tattoo across his chest. Said he got it when he was young, wouldn’t do it now, but the had great memories of seeing the E Street band with his parents. His mom told him he had “seen” the ESB while he was still in the womb.


The rain never came down in the city. And the light was spectacular all evening.

And, well, this happened too…

(c)JersyStyle Photography_PIX11_MVK_AP_082515

I got interviewed by Maghee Henry of PIX11 out of New York. Clip ran late last night, and while I got cut out of the on-line video, I did get mentioned in the story. (last name spelled wrong, though. Grrr..)

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Empress At Night2_082015_7539

“Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night….” Bruce sings in Thunder Road.

Yes, yes there is. As I pulled out of Asbury Park, it was dark and the lights were shining bright. Sometimes you just gotta find that magic, make it happen. Not for fame or fortune but for yourself.

Now… go listen to my favorite track from Born To Run….the epic, sprawling, driving, falling, storytelling goodness that is Backstreets.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 08 | 23 | 15

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Visual Week In Review_082215

More sound, less fury this week.


This Week’s Links

* What I read this week. (Watched the movie with Burt Lancaster, too.)

* From the WSJ: The East Village in B&W.

* Watch: Pool Party. Just bearly…

* Beyonce’s cover shoot shows how her image is controlled.

* Watch: Christine Eadie on the tin-type process.

* “What you put in the frame determines the photo.” ~ Joel Meyerowitz

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Apropos Of Nothing

Chase Utley 2008

A little late-August housecleaning…

Chase Utley was traded to the LA Dogers yesterday. He was with the Phillies for 13 years, but finally agreed to the trade. I shot the above at Citizens’ Bank Park back in 2008. He was having a stellar year then. He ended hitting .292 with 33 home runs, 104 RBIs and made the All-Star team.

He was loved in Philadelphia. He kept his mouth shut, always hustled. Getting hit by a pitch to get on base and start a rally was his specialty. He was a main cog in 2008, when they won the World Series.

Us Phillies fans saw his trademark lean-back/brim adjustment a million times over the years. Glad I captured it.


Asbury Park

In Asbury Park, on the beach on Sunday with the boys…captured this shot. I call it “The Patriarch.” I really wanted to do a portrait of him but just show that cross in the mass of chest hair, but I never got the chance. Thought he was Greek at first, but in the orders he was barking to his family, I think Spanish.

Shot this from the hip. Like it.


Amish scenes

Scenes from the Amish Country, where we were last week.


Finally, this was odd. Last week, I was flipping around NetFlix, and I came across the trailer for a movie called Monk With Camera.

Turns out, he is Nicholas Vreeland, Nicholas Vreeland, also known as Rato Khen Rinpoche, Geshe Thupten Lhundup, a fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk.

His grandmother is Dianna Vreeland, who was editor of Vogue in the ’60s and ’70s. He grew up in the lap of luxury but gave it all up to become a monk. He gave up everything, except his love of photography. And his photos are gorgeous.

As soon as I see the attraction on NetFlix, I think “Hey…I recognize that guy!

Flashback to September, 2011…I’m down in Asbury Park with the kids. Overcast afternoon in mid-September. I see a monk taking photos and think “Huh. A monk with a camera.” (I know, right?) So I snap one off because, while you see a lot in AP, you don’t see monks to often.

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Nicholas Vreeland_ Rato Khen Rinpoche, Geshe Thupten Lhundup_2011


(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

First Look: Them That Lives By Their Guns Cover

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Last week I announced a new partnership with Altus Press for them to use some of my Jersey Noir books as cover art for their upcoming Carroll John Daly series.

Editor Matt Moring sent me the mock-up of the cover and spinefor the Volume One and it looks outstanding. As I’ve said, this is one of my favorite shots and I’m happy to see how well it works as a cover.

The book is slated to come out later this year (hopefully in time for a pulpcon in November [right near me, too!] and/or Christmas) but *drum roll* it’s available for pre-order on Amazon!

Thanks to Matt and Altus for making Jersey Noir look so good. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this project as we go along.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015


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