Now Gear This!


Doorway, 9th Ave, NYC

It pretty much takes an act of God for me to buy new gear. It’s not that I don’t like shiny new things…who doesn’t?

But when you’re heading up a family with three kids, two dogs, one wife and everything that goes along with all that, I just take good hard looks at things before I make the purchase.

And then there comes a time when I just bite the trigger and pull the bullet (or something like that) and go on a spree.

2016 seems to be that spree.Earlier this year, I picked up the Canon 70D. So far, so good with that one. I’ve been really happy with it, especially the quality of the image files it gives me.

But then something happened recently that pushed some of my thinking into action: At my job, I got called on to plan out a multi-country, multi-location corporate photo shoot that includes Europe, the U.S. and Asia. And it all has to happen before the end of 2016.

That put  into overdrive something I had been thinking about for a few weeks. See, a  few weeks ago, I had a corporate shoot to do. Head shots of some executives, photos of them “interacting and discussing.” Environmental portraits.


Outtake from said corporate shoot.

As I got ready for this shoot, I suddenly grew tired of the hodge-podge way I usually pull stuff together for shoots. A variety of bags that act as camera and gear bags, a collapsible step stool (I’m not the tallest dude), reflector, tripod, etc. Not to mention the laptop. I decided I needed a true camera …something. Bag, box, roller, whatever.

I know a lot of friends use ThinkTank, and they are unquestionably good. They are also pricey. If price were no object, I’d go there. I decided that what I wanted was a backpack. Something with multiple slots and had room for my at 14″ laptop. I didn’t want to spend more than $100. I put the question out to photo friends on Facebook and got some really good responses. And I looked into them all. I was ready to pull the trigger on a couple, but then started reading the reviews. Those are pretty insightful.

The one bag I really liked, due to form, functionality and look, fell flat in the reviews. Said the stitching was strong and it was ripping or falling apart after just a few weeks. In the end, after much deliberation, I purchased the Case Logic SLRC-206 Camera and Laptop Backpack.

So far, it looks pretty good.Here’s what it looks like (reflector in back), and most of what I’ll be taking, on this upcoming trip:


And here’s what will be “in the bag”….


I have high hopes for this bag. Let’s see what adventures we can go on together.

The next purchase I made was to replace a lost friend. A couple of months ago, I accidentally dropped my favorite little point-and-shoot, the Canon S100, into a full cup of water in the console of my truck.

It was a 1-in-a-million shot. Me and my boy Chase had just parked at the local farm to get some veggies. I reached over to the passenger seat to pick it up, and somehow lost my grip on it as I was bringing it over the console. PLUNK! Right into the cup of water. I quickly took the battery out, let it air dry (it was a hot day), even put it in a container of rice for a couple of days. I thought I had revived it…but no go.

The funny thing is, I really missed not having that little guy in my pocket. It does some things that even the big brother Canon and the little cousin Fuji don’t do. So, I searched around, found a good price, and bought another one. I think this is my fourth S series (I’ve also had the S95 and the S120). I like them, but they are a little fragile and I can be like a bull in a china closet (as my dad used to say when I was young).


So I’m locked and loaded and ready now. Not much other gear I want or need.

While we’re on the subject of gear….

I was in New York on Thursday, first for a day-long conference on social media (part of my day job) and then to visit the PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center. I haven’t been to PPE in a couple of years…last time was right before Hurricane Sandy hit.

But since I was already in town, I decided to hike over and see what I could see.


As usual, it was loaded to the gills with gear, books, gear, people…and gear. Everyone walks around with their camera around their neck. Kinda looks silly, frankly.

I perused the stalls, saw Ami Vitale, Brad Trent, Peter Hurley, Jay Maisel,  Scott Kelby, and a few others. Best part was getting to spend a few minutes with my buddy Joe McNally and his lovely wife Annie (Joe was in kinda in the middle of a meeting but they were turning the lights down at 5 to get people to leave. He was nice enough to break away and say hello. We talk every few weeks, but it’s been a few years since I’ve seen him.

Luckily, I made it out of PPE without spending any money. But grabbed a couple of neat shots while in NYC…


painted-lady_102016_dscf9318This was a set, and model, at PhotPlus Expo. Artist Alexa Meade paints sets..and people. Wild.


Couple of happy New Yorkers

Oh, and about that travel upcoming: Belgium to Germany to Italy back to the U.S.It’s been a couple of years since I’d done any work travel. This will be a lot of running and gunning and long days, but it’ll be nice to be out and about.

Me and Flo (yeah, my little travel buddy, up there in the gear shot), and Gary Chapman leave Sunday.

I’ll be checking in the from the road. Follow on my Instagram, too, for more BTS goodies from these shoots.

Should be fun…stick around!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016


The Best Camera


Do you remember the Best Camera App? Did you perhaps download?

Ever wonder what happened to to?

Truth be told, I knew of it but never used it. For the longest time, due to my day job, I carried a Blackberry and it wasn’t available. But it’s creator, photographer Chase Jarvis, is someone I keep an eye one.

The man flat out creates. And he’s a passionate about it. His Best Camera app and community was the digital equivalent to the tagline “The Best Camera Is The One You Have On You.”

It’s not about Nikon or Canon or Fuji or Phase One or Leica. If you have any of those machines, but they are sitting at home, well, it’s hard to make good photos.

Chase was a big proponent of the phone camera, mostly the iPhone. It was with him all the time and allowed him to create. He then tried to create what now seems to be an early rendition of Instagram…but it never stuck.

Then to me, he went dark for a while. That happens. You follow certain photographers or people on line and all of a sudden they go away and you’re not sure why. You think the worst and sometimes they come back online, sometimes they don’t.

Anyway, last week, Chase penned a long read about what actually happened. The piece exhibits the same passion he always shows. If you have the time, give it a read, or at least a skim and/or watch the video. It may answer some questions we’ve all had. It may also raise others.

I shot the image above near the end of a four mile run last week, in the late afternoon. I no longer have a Blackberry but the basic Samsung Galaxy model. I don’t love my phone photos. But I’ve been carrying this with me on my runs to listen to my Amazon Prime music. And, now that I have it one me, I get tempted to fire off some snaps.

When I posted this photo to my FB and IG accounts, it got some nice traction. People like the colors (thanks to the Snapseed editing software I use) and the composition. I like how I caught the flag if flow, and yes, the colors too.

Ragged Glory...kind of represents the U.S. at this time, after the long summer of violence, and the even longer months of presidential election campaigning.

The biggest thing to me, though, is…I had a camera with me to make this photo. It wasn’t my Canon (70D or small point-and-shoot) or my Fuji X100T. If I didn’t have the smartphone with me, it would have just gone into my mental bank.

This was the best camera I had on me. I saw it in my head first, then took the shot.

Hockey great once said “You’ll miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

The same can be said for photography.

Take the shot.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Hat In The Ring – Again


As I’ve written before, I have a love-hate relationship with juried exhibitions. I like the fact they can help get the word out about a photogragher’s work…I just hate having to pay to enter.

When you have a wife, three kids, two dogs and everything that goes on with that, disposable income to put towards my passion is at a premium. So, I get really selective.

However, I’ve entered into a couple the past few weeks. The first is  Photo Place Gallery’s Call for Submissions for Dusk To Dawn.


Night photography is one of my favorite to practice, so I submitted the five that open this post. I’ve had good success with Photo Place Gallery, having gained submissions for their Noir and B&W call for submissions this year.

The other one was totally on a whim.


With PhotoPlus Expo coming up in New York this week, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring for this one. I submitted this image, which I shot a few years ago while in the city for another shoot.


I’ve always liked this slice of NYC street photography I call “The Urban Walrus.” A bit of decisive moment, if you. And getting the signage in there helps give it a place in the world.

I haven’t heard anything either way on these submissions. Fingers are still crossed!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

National Farmer’s Day


I’m often thankful at the flexibility my job affords me. This morning, I was able to take Matt on a field trip to a local farm/pumpkin patch and hayride. Not a bad way to spend a sunny Wednesday morning.

Grabbed this shot on the way home passing yet another farm in our local area, just a few miles from our house

Later today, I found out it is National Farmer’s Day.

Pharmaceuticals and tourism are now bigger than agriculture in our great state, at least from some information I found from a few years ago. But that doesn’t diminish all the farmland we have all across our state.Fruits, vegetables, sod, horses. Much of our farmland is devoted to these areas, and it’s fantastic.

No farmers, no food. Simple of that.

Thank a farmer today.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016