And we’re off…

It’s a new year.  This is the time of year where I sit my team down and give them “the speech” – about how we need to have a good first quarter so we can have a good year. I’ve given this speech 26 times in the past 26 years, although the early speeches were really just me talking to myself.

Well, it’s time for something different.  I’ve been doing photography for years.  In the past few years I’ve gotten more serious – shooting lifecycle events, pro sports, professional models, as well as stuff that I enjoy but doesn’t pay the bills, like nature and landscapes.  Now it’s time to step it up…

I am blessed with a great team at my other business, Klein Management Systems (www.kleinmgmt.com),  a staffing company I’ve run for the past 26 years.  They’re a great group of highly professional recruiters and staffing experts who provide exceptional service to our clients.  I’ll still be around (after all, my name is on the door), but I’m making room for a passion that I’ve wanted to pursue for some time: KleinImages Photography.

My wife Judy and I have talked about teaming up on this venture for some time now.  She’s the one with the head for organization, meticulously designing beautiful albums and tending to the details of the business; I’m the shooter.  We’ve worked together for nearly 30 years and complement each other well.

A few details  needed to be addressed:  deciding on a name, filing papers, getting a phone number, an office, business cards – not to mention website (www.kleinimages.com), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/kleinimages) and yes, Twitter (www.twitter.com/kleinimages) and a blog.  Lots of tasks  – lots more than I have written here; nothing really exciting about that.  There is however, something very exciting about a new venture.  I’m a skier and a couple of years ago I started to snowboard (not very well, I will admit).  The novelty of doing something new, something that you haven’t done over and over, is good for the soul.  I started running late in life – at age 50 – and did a marathon at 51.  It was a huge thrill for me – something new and exciting.

Starting a new business after 26 years?  Yup – that qualifies as new and exciting.

I took the above picture at the Tough Mudder event held at Mt. Snow this past May.  I liked the look of determination on these guys’ faces.  Just some regular guys determined to do something new and exciting.  Sounds familiar.

Quintessential New England Christmas Card Picture

KleinImages

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a New England winter scene. And there is no better winter scene than a snow covered farm. And there is no better snow covered farm than Jenne Farm. You’ve seen this place before even if you don’t know it. It’s in the small town of Reading, Vermont. This farm has appeared in Budweiser commercials, Forest Gump and Funny Farm. It’s been on the cover of Life, Vermont Life, Yankee magazine. Some say it’s anywhere from one of the most photographed farms in New England to one of the most photographed farms in the world.

I’ve photographed it three times; twice in the fall and once in the winter. There’s a small donation box next to one of the trees by the road; I always leave a few bucks and if you ever shoot there you should donate a few dollars as well. I’ve heard stories – don’t know if they are true or urban (rural?) legend – that the owners never got their fair share when large commercial shoots took place there. I always make a point to buy some maple syrup when I’m there. It’s not what you’d expect – no fancy made for tourists farm stand; I had to find someone inside the cluttered barn to sell me the syrup. About as genuine as it gets.

I like making holiday cards from pictures I’ve taken and sending them out to clients. They don’t have to be Christmas Cards – a great winter scene on a card just works this time of year – even if you’re Jewish like I am. I currently use Digilabs for printing the cards (I like the quality of the stock paper and color correction) but have also used Shutterfly in the past.

My holiday gift to you – drop me an email and I’ll email you back a high-resolution version of this picture so you can use it on your cards next holiday season.

All the best for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and happy and healthy New Year.

Marathons and Photographs

I’ve been doing some reading about blogging (being new to this) and there is a definite consensus that you should try to connect with readers by letting people get to know you – and not to go into selling mode.  Understood.

Last month I ran my first New York City Marathon (my second marathon overall).  I’m a lifelong New Yorker and I can proudly say – our city was really at its finest during the race.  Spectators were great, the vibe from the crowd lived up to all the hype I had heard about it, and it was just a great overall experience.

Being a photographer, and having shot professional sports, I was keenly interested in the massive photography operation going on during the race.  Brightroom deployed nearly 100 photographers and shot over 800,000 images – that’s quite the task.  I can’t image the army of people sitting at a bank of computers tagging all of those photos with bib numbers so you can find your images…

Some observations:

  1. Having photographers high above the crowd in cherry pickers may look cool but shooting down on people is never a good technique.  The images from high up prove that out.
  2. Shoot  tight – crop tighter.  Works for  most sports images – applies here as well.
  3. Finish Line – yeah it’s the classic shot but unless you’re one of the dozen pros in the front of the pack – the time on the clock isn’t going to be correct. In my case the clock was only 4 minutes off (I crossed the start line 4 minutes after the race started) but if you’re in wave 3 you’re already 1 full hour off on the photo of the finish.  Sure you can photoshop in your real time but, really?

There were plenty of photos for me to choose from to purchase –I’d say around 15 or more. I chose this one for a few reasons:

  1. Tight shot without anyone else’s full face as a distraction to the viewer
  2. Context: the traffic light and buildings in the background let the viewer know where was shot
  3. Pretty good depth of field
  4. Sharpness and clarity spot on
  5. Lighting not too bad

Nice job, Brightroom.

Oh, and I  loved the two  guys holding the signs as you crossed the Willis Ave. Bridge:  “Welcome to the Bronx” on the first sign –  and the two  guys five feet further up with their sign: “Now Leave.”

My first blog post ever…

  • So here I am,  having vowed never to blog , writing about photography and stuff.  I’ll do my best to keep things interesting with lots of pictures.  Our new website should be going live within the next few days and we’re very excited about that.  I started out doing sports photography and have moved into other areas including events, fashion and weddings.  Sports imagery is still a passion – especially winter sports.  I’m from a family of skiers and snowboarders so I cut my teeth doing photography out in the cold shooting people flying through the air.  I thought I would lead off my blog with an image that gets me and maybe some of you into the winter mood.