Surprise, Jana! Engagement As It Unfolds At The Beach

Steve contacted me and asked if I would hide out on a windy, cold beach in February to photograph his proposal to Jana. I am down for anything so I bundled up and stocked up on handwarmers from 7-11. Visually these photos have a lot of impact. A stark beach with just two people expressing their love for one another. Bright red flowers. Lots of visual cues giving you a true feel for that day.

Steve is a brave man for designing and executing such a plan. Hats off to you both for such a wonderful moment in time. After you’re done perusing the photos, watch the engagement in full motion thanks to a couple GoPro cameras hidden on the beach.

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The Engagement of Jana Diamond and Steve Klotzkin at North Beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Jana & Steve’s Engagement in Sandy Hook, New Jersey 2/28/2014 from Chris Sztybel on Vimeo.

Brian Clayton and the Green River Band at Bar A in Belmar, New Jersey

IT WAS HOT! The room we shot in at Bar A was an unused portion of the building on a steamy June day in Belmar, New Jersey. I knew what I wanted to get and had the band in and out. They had a show that night, so it was vital that we not kill them with dehydration.

You can hit the collage below and see more of Brian Clayton and the Green River Band as well as live shots I took that evening.

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Brian Clayton and the Green River Brand promo photos

About Brian Clayton and the Green River band (source: Brian Clayton and the Green River Band)

Brian Clayton, raised in Garwood, NJ, started playing drums and singing at the early age of 4 and by 12 formed his first band. While in high school, Brian showed interest in acting and was represented by Gardner Talent Management, a children’s management agency. He appeared in several national TV commercials and played in small movie roles. Brian later joined an original band called the ‘Skates’, which gave him his first taste of professional studio recording. ‘The Skates’ eventually evolved into a country oriented rock act called ‘The Pressures of Time’. The band had a great southern sound with quality original material. The Pressures exposed Brian to the country styles of Steve Earle, Kentucky Headhunters and Dwight Yoakam. The band secured a management-production deal with Westwood Entertainment Group. Brian co-produced two unsigned artist CD Compilations for Westwood and executive produced the ‘Pressures’ only release, ‘Down in the Deep End’. After leaving the ‘Pressures of Time’ in 1991, Brian co-founded Rock Garden Recording/Rehearsal Studios. The following year, Brian joined up with ‘The Swingin Johnsons’. They were a featured act on the syndicated cable TV Show RASCAL’S Comedy Hour and performed with such comedians as Rosie O’Donnell and Drew Carey. The band had an extensive tour schedule throughout the Northeastern United States. Brian left the Johnsons after the group’s first CD release in 1999 to concentrate on his real passion, to become a solo country artist. With the evolution of the new country music scene, Brian drew influences from the Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban, John Mellencamp, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Brian has the talents and the experience to blend contemporary country with today’s commercial pop rock sound. Brian then assembled a group of musicians to help form ‘The Green River Band’. Brian called on friend and keyboard wizard John McDonough who joins bassman and vocalist Jeff Gray, along with veteran country musicians Micheal Zack on guitar and Bob Miano on pedal steel and finally rounding out the drumming duties, long time drumming collegue Bob Masucci to finalize the full musical group. Brian Clayton and the Green River Band gives today’s country music a new look, a new sound and a generation of new country music fans.

My Time With The The Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS

This is an impressive lens. The Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L is primarily used for nature and sports photography and the Image Stabilization is necessary even with a quality tripod. When a lens has its own strap, you know it’s quite heavy. I’ve also never used a more expensive lens in my life. At $14,000.00 you better believe I was extremely careful with it.

My goal was to take it out and capture local wildlife in the short time I’d have it. The photos below are from The Great Swamp in Basking Ridge, New Jersey as well as Rahway River Park in Rahway, New Jersey. Very pleased with the results. Thanks to Canon CPS for letting me use this monster.

Go ahead and treat yourself.

Canon 800mm f/5.6 lens

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 lens

Portraits of Olympic Boxer Leroy Davila at New Brunswick Boxing Gym

Upon joining the staff at New Brunswick Today, I’ve met several interesting people. Leroy was born and raised here and is the subject of an article being written for New Brunswick Today. He is a true testament to following the beat of your own drum and staying positive.

Olympic Boxer Leroy Davila Portrait Session

Kelly Larsen Modeling for Trendi

One of my current projects is creating a web site for Trendi. The opportunity presented itself to combine my photography work within the web site. Special thanks to Kelly Larsen for modeling and Lew Monty for assisting. Color work shot on a Canon 7D. Black and white work shot on a Mamiya 645 PRO.

Kelly Larsen models for Trendi fashion jewelry and accessories

Farm Photo Shoot with Model Chris Slovak

We had the luxury of a comfortable fall morning to shoot with Chris on the Pine Valley Christmas Tree farm in Elkton, Maryland. I lost my damn mind and decided to shoot with three totally different cameras. One DSLR. One medium format with b&w film. One 35mm with color film.

I think I prefer the film shots to digital especially for a location such as a farm. Film looks properly weathered like many of the pieces of equipment used on a daily basis to grow crops or feed livestock.

Enough rambling…enjoy the shoot. To schedule your own shoot, contact me at or by filling out the contact form on the site.

Model Chris Slovak color photography

Black and white photos of model Chris Slovak

The High Line in New York City

Visited The High Line for the first time yesterday. It’s better than I had imagined!


“The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the nonprofit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the preservation and transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.

The High Line is located on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. The first section of the High Line opened on June 9, 2009. It runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street. The second section, which runs between West 20th and West 30th Streets, opened June 8, 2011.”

Photographs from The Highline in Manhattan off 10th Avenue

Fosterfield Living Historical Farm in Morristown, New Jersey

The Grand Harvest Wine Festival was held at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morristown, New Jersey on a foggy autumn day. I tasted several of the local wineries, but I also wanted to explore a bit. It was extremely overcast, but you can see the fall colors breaking through the grey.

Fosterfield Living Historical Farm photographs by Christopher John Sztybel