Getting Clipped At Joe’s Barbershop

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The barbershop has always been a special place.

It’s often the place where a new milestone – Junior got his first haircut today! – is achieved.

It’s a place where men gather to talk business, sports, power equipment. But not women.

I’ve been in a few barbershops in my life, and I have some great barbers.

Paulie George was one of my earliest cutters. He had a shop near the edge of the town I grew up in, not far from the railroad tracks that crossed over into the next. I kinda remember him being rough.

There was another guy who had a small shop in Luzerne, PA. I remember my dad taking me there all the time, in the chill of a fall evening and the humid, warm summer nights. The door would jingle and young me would the smell of the neck powder coming of the barber’s (Tony?) brush and small machine oil used for his clippers. I’d sit and read car magazines. Wish I could go back and take photos of THAT place. Bet it was classic.

In high school, I wore a classic flat-top haircut, and always had to go see Mike a few towns over for that cut. He did it best.

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In college, there was Two-Spin Pete. Didn’t charge much, and only spun the chair twice. You got what you got.

I’ve sat in a few other chairs over the year. Lately, though, me and the boys go to Joe’s Barbershop here in Allentown. Joe’s is owned by Hector and Nicole, two business partners that have been working together for a long time.

It’s a nice small-town joint, as are all the little shops here in Allentown. Joe’s sits just off of Main Street, and they just moved into a bigger shop three doors down from their old one.

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About two years ago, a rival shop tried to open across the street. They lasted about six months.It was ridiculous to try to challenge Joe’s. Hector, Nicole and the rest of the staff are great. They all get the job done quickly and efficiently. There’s usually a TV on showing music videos, but usually what you hear are the buzz of clippers, the snip of scissors and the vroooom of blow dryers cleaning of necks.

If you clicked the Joe’s link above, you can see they are building a new website. A website needs visuals. So, a few months ago, I pitched Hector an idea: I’d shoot new images for the site in trade for some haircuts for my boys. I showed Joe and Nicole my portfolio and they liked what they saw. We shook hands and had a deal.

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A few weeks ago, on a Sunday, I arrived at the shop just after they opened. I wanted to spend a couple of hours there, but stay out of the way, blend into the background. I didn’t want to be in the way of the barbers, and, honestly, I wasn’t sure how the patrons would react. It’s not every day you go to your local ‘shop and some guy is patrolling around with camera.

But it was all cool. While I did shoot some color (3 images, maybe?), I again saw this story unfolding in simple, sharp black & white. Again, like a classic LIFE magazine spread.Entire-to-detail.

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Of course, when my boys showed up for their haircuts, I had to include them as well (and didn’t need a release form!)

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The shoot went really well. Hector and Nicole like the images, especially the one that opens this post. I still need to go back and do some portraits of the staff, but I think I gave them enough to get started on that website.

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Of course, like at any good barbershop, everyone got a lollypop.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Getting Deco’ed In Philly

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My Father’s Day Weekend got extended this week as I had to take the family down to Philadelphia on Monday.

My wife and two of my three kids are headed to Canada on the 4th of July. Apparently, the passport cards the kids have are good for driving and/or ferrying into Canada, but not my flying. They need actual passports.

So, bright and early on a gorgeous Monday morning, we headed down to the U.S. Custom House in the City of Brotherly Love. Situated in Olde City, the massive building takes up an entire block. Inside it’s finished in Art Deco style, one of my favorite design styles.

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We knew this was going to be a long morning, and it kind of was. We waited in lines and sat around for about three-and-a-half hours. Still, the kids did very well, and were pretty behaved (the Kindles we took along helped out a lot.)

Myself, I was enthralled by the design of the building and all the cool features. I have my little Canon S110 in my pocket and snapped a few photos. I’m not architectural photographers, but I like how these came out.

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I’ll be back in Philly this weekend to shoot the TriRock Triathlon, so I’ll be getting a double dose of my favorite city in the United States.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Happy Father’s Day

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Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, especially my Dad.

My pop, Vince Krajnak, has had a tough last few months. He’s doing well, getting stronger every day though. I’m looking forward to visiting, hopefully, in a few weeks.

He’s taught me a lot in my life, and continues to teach me. I’m certainly not a perfect father, much less a perfect person, but I often think WWVD – What Would Vince Do?

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And thanks to my kids for, well, making me a father. I try to do the best I can for them and with them. Like I said, not always perfect, but I’m trying to get there for them. I couldn’t ask for better kids.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 06 | 20 | 15

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“The church door’s thrown open /I can hear the organ’s song /But the congregation’s gone
My city of ruins.”

Bruce Springsteen wrote those lyrics about Asbury Park a few years ago, but it seems like he was writing about Charleston, South Carolina, now. It’s not a city in ruins. It’s the United States. Another senseless killing.

In better news, my kids finished up school this week, tomorrow is Father’s Day and summer is officially ready to begin.

Let’s get after it.

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* ICYMI: Jen Conley’s great essay about Noir At The Bar.

* What I watched this week.

* Goodfellas: 25 Years On (watched this also this week.)

* From Darkroom to Digital.

* Kirk Kevorkian: What a life.

* Toy Story: The Honest Trailer

* “We’re all born different, that’s what we got in common.” ~ Billy Joe Shaver

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

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