Eye See, Fill The Frame


I don’t give advice much. Still much learning to do.

But here some advice: This summer, fill the frame.

Fill the pool, fill the grill, fill the hopper with fish, fill the glass jar with lightening bugs.

But fill the frame.

This was probably the earliest piece of photography advice given to me by a Boston-based photographer, Russ Schleipman.

I wasn’t even really shooting back in 1998, but I was working with him on an annual report project.

I remember sitting in a van with him and his assistant, honestly can’t remember where the shoot was that we were heading to. Upstate New York? Miami?

I don’t know, it’s all vague now, 20 years later.

But the advice stuck – Fill The Frame.

Last week, in pre-game warm ups, Matt took a pop-up off the glove and into the face last week. He cried a little.

But we put an ice pack on it and first inning, he pulled the catchers gear on, squatted behind the plate and was good to go.

Got three  hits that game too.

The eye has been turning some pretty colors this past week. Starting to fade now, though.

Before it went away, though, had to bring him into the garage studio on Sunday. Had to get a shot of the shiner.

The front tooth…well, that was lost by natural causes the previous week. Works with the overall image, though, I think.

You know I’m making a big print of this one.

This summer, get close. Fill the frame, folks.

Me and Russ will be happy you did.

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

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Event: Early Elton At House of Independents


Early Elton, left to right: Jeff Kazee, John Conte, Rich Pagano

Back in 2017, when I shot the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival Upstage Jam, one of the performers on stage was Jeff Kazee, on piano.

I’m not sure why, but at some point, I must have kicked out a photo I took of Jeff on Twitter. He responded positively, and we started to follow each other.

I enjoy his posts. His day job is being a Juke. He’s played piano for 20 years with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.

Like many musicians, he has a number of side projects going on. A few months ago, on social media, he mentioned something about playing early Elton John songs at the House of Independents.

I responded by saying “I’d love to shoot that.” He direct messaged me “Let’s keep in touch.”

I didn’t think anything would come of this but as the date got closer, I kept an eye on it. I knew the show was on a Friday; I was going to wait till the previous Sunday to ping Jeff about this, because, why not? Worse he could say was no.

But before Sunday came, he pinged me. Wanted to know when we could talk on the phone about my shooting the show.

Wow. Cool.

So, early last week, at about 9:30 p.m., just after I put the kids to bed, I got on a call with Jeff for a more formal introduction. We spoke for about 45 minutes on a whole range of topics: The Upstage Jam, Ohio, sport talk radio, our kids.

And, shooting the show on Friday at the House of Independents.


Early Elton is Jeff, John Conte and Rich Pagno. Reading the About page on their website, it’s clear the musical acumen and experience is incredible.

And, since I’ve shot in the House of Independents before, I knew the sightlines I liked, hand an idea of how the lights would play, and where I could move around to get some good shots.

The best part, though, was the band said I could shoot the sound check, hang backstage…and also ON stage to get any shot I wanted.

I took them up on that.




So, as is my style, while I got the stage shots I wanted, I also tried to find some interesting angles to put my own spin on the evening.


Walk In_mkrajnak_060818_DSCF2440


Set List_mkrajnak_060818_MG_3266




We four also talked about doing some group band shots.

Walking to the HOI, I thought maybe could do something outside on Cookman Ave. Or against some cool brick walls nearby. Or the brick walls INSIDE the HOI.


Scouting shot

Yeah, yeah, we can do some after we get dressed for the show.

Just no brick walls!


Anyway, before the show, I’m looking around. Through some doors by the dressing room, was a cool looking hallway, plus another little doorway area I could, with available light I could use.


Scouting shot



Scouting shot

They are supposed to go on at 7:30 p.m. As we push pass 7, I can tell they are getting tight a little bit. Hey, they are very experienced, but they are also ready to put on a show, basically to hometown fans. There’s always some nerves.


Ok, Mark, let’s do some group shots. We can’t go outside. We have about four minutes. Where can we go?

Actually, just go right through this door. I think I found a couple of spots.



And one I threw a little filter on. My fav, actually.


The show was great, Early Elton sounded awesome. I sent some quick selects to Jeff after I got home that night, then followed up with a link to a full set the next day.

The band has been very receptive to what I shot, hopefully we can work together again.

And maybe have more than four minutes to do a group shot!


For this event, I used my Fuji X100T and my Canon 70D. Lenses on the Canon were the 24-105 mm and my 70-200 mm. Even snapped off a few with my Canon SX610 point and shoot.

I almost forgot…I also started to use my Polaroid Propack loaded with Fuji FP 100C film. Tried a few shots…and somehow it mis-fed on me. I wasted nearly the whole $35 pack. Ugh.

The group shots were done with my Fuji. Man, I love how that camera works in low light, at 1600 ISO.

I had rented a fish-eye lens from Borrowlenses.com to use. However, due to a snafu, the lens didn’t get to me in time before I left for Asbury Park, so I never used it. Bummer.

But, overall, a fun night on Cookman Ave! Pretty cool how it all came together, thanks to social media!

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

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 06.09.18

Visual Week In Review_060918

A week of death.

Designer Kate Spade, suicide.

Photojournalist David Douglas Duncan, natural causes (he was 102)

Chef/Storyteller/Jersey Guy Anthony Bourdain, suicide.


The first one surprised me. I don’t know much about the Spade business. Knew of the name. Been past the story in New York a few times. Knew they were famous among those interested in fashion. A somewhat well-known name.

Duncan, I knew of him very well, from a photographic standpoint. And because it was because of him that I got the chance to meet and work with David Burnett. (there’s a line in this post about Joe McNally having to be in France…I didn’t say why but it was to shoot David Duncan Douglas)

Bourdain….this one bothers me, on a few levels. Yes, you can say it seems like he had it all – a popular TV show, great travels, a young daughter, and, while recently divorced, in a new relationship.

Here’s a guy who overcame addiction, never pulled punches and seems to be universally liked.

But he also did martial arts. And I just don’t understand how that commitment and dedication to this couldn’t help see him through whatever he was going though.

I liked his style, and his art of travel. Mentioned him here. And here.

I’ve eaten horse in Russia, sea slug in Beijing, at the food marts in Mumbai all because of Bourdain and his shows. He made me food fearless when traveling. I may never get back to a place, may as well experience it fully.

So, his death left me sad. And the fact that he took his own life left me perplexed.

Folks, hang in there. Don’t do it to yourself or your loved ones. Talk to someone, please.

National Suicide Hotline in the US: 1-800-273-8255 or go here.


This Week’s Links:

What I Watched: Beware of Mr. Baker

What I’m Reading: But Beautiful

Joe McNally on David Duncan Douglas

Anthony Bourdain was a Jersey Guy. Here’s his Parts Unknown episode on New Jersey.

Bill Cunningham’s unseen scrapbooks.

What the Beats were all about.

Is a stress shot on the horizon?

“Personally, I couldn’t give a damn if the light in my camera is recorded by emulsion on gelatine, or a silicon chip. The real issue is what you’re pointing the camera at – what you have to say. That is the best thing to get steamed up about.” Paul Graham

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

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Make Prints: Tuning Up


Last week, the mailman dropped off a satchel of new prints I had made.

These were from my shoot at the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival in April.

I had a whole bunch of  4×6’s made by AdoramaPix (as usual) and have been taking some time to go through them a little closer.

The one I really wanted to see was this big one of Wyclef Jean at The Stone Pony.

Wyclef John_The Stone Pony_2018

Looks really neat big as an 11×14 print. Great to see the different faces up close…the gal on her phone, Instgramming away, I’m sure…photographers Michael Zorn (no hair) and Bob Schultz (long hair) – and the cat next to Bob, forgetting his name – with their lenses trained on ‘Clef…and, of course, WJ giving me at look. Glad I caught this moment.

BrianFallon_April 2018

Also in the batch was a shot from Brian Fallon at Starland Ballroom last month. I was there to watch, not shoot…but I had my Fuji X100T with me. I moved through the middle of the crowd…excuse me, pardon me, can I get by please….and then just hung around the middle of the stage and snapped off a few.

Didn’t get many I like, but I liked this one. So, made a medium size (8×10) and small print (5×7).

As I mentioned above, I again used my friends at AdoramaPix…metallic paper, white border finish. I should really branch out and try other papers from AdoramaPix. They’ve just come out with some fine art paper. Think I’ll try that next.

Stay tuned! Make Prints!

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

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