Sunday, October 5, 2014

Headshot Photography: Not new, but never old.

 A recent headshot I was commissioned to do
"In theater, film, and television, actors, models, singers, and other entertainers are often required to include a head shot, along with their résumé, when applying for a job. These head shots are usually more artistic: they intend to portray the subject in the best possible light. Head shots often feature the actor or actress facing off-center. A performer will often have head shots expressing different poses and expressions to give a potential employer an idea of the subject's range of appearances or expressions. These types of head shots are called "looks". It is common for an actor to have different head shots for different roles, but for the most part these consist of a change in attire. The head shots that include a person’s shoulders are called "three-quarter" shots. Previously, head shots were often in black-and-white; however, most head shots are now taken in color.
Actors' head shots, when printed and not simply uploaded online to an industry database, are done in an 8"×10" format. Other promotional images, for example, press shots and lobby prints, may be in many different aspect ratios. Acting head shots are often not photographic prints, instead they are typically printed via a lithographic or laser process.
The main purpose of an actor's head shot is identification. Therefore, the most important feature of an actor's head shot is that it represents the subject. Theatrical head shots are usually very "neutral" looking shots of the actor clearly showing their facial features.
Head shots are intended to show a person as they currently appear and reflect their best qualities. Therefore, if an actor's hair has been recently cut or colored, they would often get a new head shot to reflect their new image. Additionally, if an actor has a scar or facial blemish, it is expected to be visible on the head shot and not digitally removed from the image. Pimples or spots are temporary and, therefore, are usually digitally retouched."
- Wikipedia

If you are interested in headshot photos, Kratka Photography has you covered. Our pricing is very simple: 

- $75/hr, which INCLUDES all finished mages burned to DVD as well as posted to our
secured online server that you may access to download your pictures. 

- Travel up to 30 miles from Waterville, Maine, and then .30/mile thereafter. 

- We come to you! Our portable studio brings the studio to your location of choice. 

- 207.660.5116 to book your private session. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Start 2014 with a photography class!

Wow, time flies. Here we are, 2014.  A new year full of promise, opportunity, and adventure!

Where will this new year take us? What new friends might we make? What new places will we explore? 

And most importantly....what kind of pictures do you want to take in 2014?  Portraits? Group shots? Scenic? Time lapse? HDR? (HDwhat?)

Good news! On Saturday January 25, 2014, Kratka Photography will be holding it's first of many photography classes in Belfast, Maine.

This is a beginners class. 

Location:     Belfast Free Library (the Abbott room, 106 High St. Belfast, ME)
Date:          January 25, 2014
Time:          11:00 am to 1:00pm
Cost:           $35

Pre-Registration is required, (by email) and students are asked to pay in advance to reserve a seat. Space is limited. 

If you use PayPal, you can direct your payment to 

If you would prefer to write a check, please make it out to:

Kratka Photography
10 Roosevelt Ave. 
Waterville, Maine 04901

To Register send email to kevin@kratkaphotography or call 207.660.5116

Principles we will cover: 

  1. Making friends: getting to know your camera
  2. Six things to know when handling your camera
  3. Setup the shot: Composition
  4. Framing your shot using lines and angles
  5. Dramatic perspective 
  6. Exposure: understanding Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO
  7. Depth of Field - shallow or deep? Why you should care!
  8. Stop the action: Shutter speed
  9. ISO: we get in touch with our sensitive side
  10. Your lens: wide? telephoto? macro? 
  11. Flash: do's and don'ts 
  12. Q&A
Sound like fun? It will be! This will be a fun, relaxed class with plenty of time for questions. Bring a friend! 

Important notes to consider about the class. 


If you're not already familiar with your camera, make every effort to get to know it before arriving to class. Please bring your camera's manual as this will play a vital role in answering specific questions regarding your particular make of camera. (Without a manual, it's a real possibility I would not be able to answer very specific questions about your specific camera)

If you have pictures you'd like critiqued, please feel free to bring them along and every effort will be made to help you with those. 

And finally, bring a smile. This is going to be an enjoyable 2 hours that will fly by. 

Questions?  Please email me anytime and I will get back to you. 

See you there!!! 

*** Please note, for scheduling purposes, the cost of the class is non-refundable. However if the weather requires us to reschedule, it will be held on Saturday in February. Please keep this mind when you submit payment for the class  ***

Friday, November 22, 2013


My earliest memory takes me back to the days when I was still in diapers. I actually remember wearing them and being just tall enough that I could peer out the window of my upstairs bedroom in New Britain, Connecticut. 

My view was from the second floor allowed me to see New Britain Fire Department station 4. I remember they had a red light outside the station, I could see it at night. I remember staring at that fire station all the time, just waiting for those doors to open and see the fire trucks with their blinking lights and siren, come rolling out. I don't recall ever actually seeing any trucks roll out of that station, but that didn't stop my imagination from pretending that they were. I had plenty of toy fire trucks to play with, something little boys love to do. 

Roy and Johnny
I also remember, with clarity I might add, watching the television show Emergency!. I remember thinking that they actually filmed the show inside the TV station that my father worked at back then, WHNB (later WVIT). I remember wondering how they fit all those fire trucks inside the station. I remember my dad bringing home autographed copies of 8x10 black and white photos of fire fighter " Johnny Gage" and  paramedic "Roy DeSoto". Such vivid memories and thoughts. I knew then what I wanted to do with my life, and that has never changed. 

Fast forward 40 something years, and am I pursuing this dream? I'm happy to say, yes! Of course, circumstances in my life never really allowed me the dream of being a full time 'career' fire fighter come true. It never seemed like either the time was there for the training, or the money, or whatever. 

I did manage to join a volunteer ambulance service once I was out from under my parents roof. In fact that was one of the very first things I did once I was moved into my new place at the tender age of 21. Being a stupid kid of just 21, I didn't plan things too well, and while I did have a great time driving for the ambulance service, I never finished the EMT class that I was in because I ended up moving to Florida. 

But while in Florida, I managed to join the Martin County fire department as a volunteer. I successfully completed a combat fire fighting class and volunteered my time when I could. It was short lived because I ended up moving to Maine. 

Rockalnd, Maine 
While in Maine, I joined the Rockland fire department as a volunteer. Again, more training, more classes, but in the end, nothing I could use to apply as a full time FF somewhere. That ended when I moved to South Carolina. 

While in South Carolina, I started the process of joining the Piedmont vol. fire department (which was full of good 'ole boys who were career firemen), but in the end, I just didn't like the feel of the department, so I never finished the process of joining.

About a year went by, and an EMT class became available to me at the local college, and I signed up immediately. Six months and $650 later, I was a South Carolina licensed Emergency Medical Technician. License #23106, and I could not have been prouder, I mean, if a person could literally bust open with pride, it would have been me. But not 'proud' in a boastful way, just sincerely happy and satisfied that I had accomplished one of my life's goals. Next thing was to join the local Rescue service in Pelzer, South Carolina, but not as a volunteer this time, but as a full time medic. My dreams were so close to coming true that I could taste it. 

The Pelzer S.C. Rescue service had agreed that if I came to work for them, they would reimburse me for the cost of the EMT class. This is common practice among both career and volunteer services. I successfully interviewed and got the job as a medic. I was beside myself with happiness. I was given a radio, a pager, and a sweet new uniform complete with shiny badge. I was to report to work the next day. 

Day one. I show up to work at Pelzer Rescue. My shirt has been starched 3 times, my badge...shiny as new. I can't wait to get started. The chief at the time brought me in to his office and sat me down to welcome me aboard. As I sit in a big comfy chair, surrounded by framed licenses, plaques, awards and pictures, the chief took his seat, lit up a pipe, and began to talk. 

The first words out of his mouth were as follows: "Let's get one thing straight right away, we don't hire no women, and no n*ggers".  End quote. My heart began to sink. I had a sick feeling in my gut, my feeling of total bliss had been crushed with 15 words. I suddenly realized something that everybody around me had been saying since I moved to S.C......racism was alive and well, so just get used to it. This was the deep south, the home of corn bread and pinto beans. 

I quit the next day, turned in my gear, and found a job in retail in the city. The only reason I didn't get a job with the county EMS service was I needed a hire level of training, something I could not afford to do. I would settle for a job in retail sales, and just suck it up. There was no volunteering as an EMT in the area that I lived, everything was county based, so I was stuck. 

I spent the next 6 years living and breathing thick, humid southern air. When the time was right, I high tailed it out of there and headed back to Maine where we found a home to rent in Liberty. I immediately joined the Liberty vol. fire department. But it too was short lived, I simply did not have the time to give them. Shortly after that, we moved to the town of Belfast, Maine. 

In Belfast, the local vol. department was 'full', because they only had room for a certain number of volunteers because each got paid 'per call' and the budget was tight. I would not be able to volunteer with them. But I became friends with the chief at the time, and he allowed me to show at accidents and fire to take pictures. 

About 7 years passed, and we found ourselves moving to Albion, Maine, to be closer to my parents. We were not even completely unpacked and I was knocking at the door of the local vol. fire department. I showed up in a sports jacket during one of their monthly meetings, stood there until the meeting was over, and when asked, I introduced myself (and my son, Robbie, who was with me that night). I explained why I was there, they gave me an app, and voted me in the next month. It was December 2012, and I was in. 
Today I train hard, such as in this car fire exercise. 

Today I am happy to say that I am able to respond to most calls that come into our small farming town of 1200 people. We also offer mutual aid support to many surrounding towns. In January 2014, a new EMT class starts, and I am determined to take it. It's going to cost me nearly $800 out of my own pocket, but I get that money back once I pass the 'National Registry" EMT exam. I will take the course. I will pass the exam. I will continue in my quest to provide emergency care to my neighbors and friends. 

Robbie at age 6. 
In the meantime, I have a son, who will be 10 soon. This young man has been watching my Emergency! DVD series since before he could talk. He would just sit and stare at the TV while Johnny and Roy do their thing. If DVD's could wear out, he would have done it. He has been crazy about being a fireman since then, his excitement
for being a fire fighter has never waned. Over the years, he has made friends with various firemen, some became good friends. He was just 5 when one of them gave him an old (but functional!) fire pager. Then someone else gave him an old turnout coat and helmet. Then the fire chief of Belfast gave him another helmet, a more modern one. All of that gear was much to big for him at the time, but he wore it with a smile and a twinkle in his young eyes. 

A twinkle I suspect I had in my eyes when I was his age. 

Robbie wearing my helmet. Age 10.
Today I'm 43, and the dream of becoming a full time FF/Medic has not faded. Time has taken its toll, my body is not in the same shape as when I was in my 20's, but my spirit is strong and determined. My son is also determined, and I will support him in any endeavor he chooses. If chooses to pursue a career in the fire service, I will be there, supporting him. If that happens, the twinkle in my eyes will be replaced with tears of joy as I see my young fireman pursue his own dreams. 

Until then, I'll continue to watch him as we both share the same dream. I'll continue to watch him grow, and I'll stay safe in my own duties so I can be around when someday he puts on his department issue gear and takes his first call. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Photography Class - Interested?

This is something that I have always wanted to do, but just never had the time: teach photography. A subject near and dear to my heart. The problem is, so many people are on so many levels of photography, and I could teach at so many levels that it makes it difficult to decide what exactly I will teach. 

So here is my thoughts; why not put it out to my readers and see what kind of feedback I get? Here are some of the topics we could cover in a typical 90 minute photography class. You're feedback here is so important! Email me with your interest! 

Beginners Class:  This would teach the basics. We could cover all 
the buttons on the camera, what they do, and why you would use them and when. How to get creative with your camera, and the possibilities and potential restrictions your particular camera might pose. Not all cameras are made the same, but todays digital cameras do possess a high level of quality like nothing seen in years past. Even the most modest "Point and Shoot" digital camera made today far outranks the possibilities that a $1000 digital camera form the 90's could do. And there were some pretty awesome cameras back then! What about sharing your photographs on the web? We talk about a website called Flickr and how you can safely store and share your images....for free! 

Intermediate Class: We dive into the specifics of what ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.  How do they all talk to each other and what happens when you start to tweak those settings? What is noise reduction and why should you care? Why your tripod is your best friend and some unique ways of using it you may not have thought about. How do you track a moving object, like for instance quick little kids who never seem to stop moving? What about photographs at night, or extremely low light situation? Should you use the flash all the time? A digital SLR is recommended but not necessary.   

Advanced Class: The gloves come off! 

Let's talk about time lapse photography, HDR imagery, astrophotography, macro photography, focus stacking, panoramic imagery, stop action photo stacking using programs such as Photoshop. 

Meta tagging, organization of your image library and so much more!  A digital SLR is strongly recommended for this class to maximize your potential as well as a sturdy tripod and bring your laptop. 

Topic Specific Classes:  These are classes designed to focus (no pun intended) on a particular photography topic. Want to dive into HDR photography in depth? Pick a subject and we'll go over it in detail. The entire class will be devoted to one topic and covered well. 


Monday, November 4, 2013

Hello and Goodbye Fall

Fall in Maine is a special time of the year. It's marks the beginning of different hunting seasons, it's the time when the farmers bring in all of their corn stocks, and this year, now that we live way out in the country, we learned that fall is also the time when those same farmers spread manure all over those same fields. 

P. U. 

This year marked the first full year after my move from the Belfast area to the town of Albion. It's been a wonderful year. I've made lots of new friends, including some great neighbors behind us. 

Soon the snow will be flying and we will be in the thick of winter. Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, which is 90 miles west of my home, already had 130mph winds and snow on it's summit. Winter is truly on its way. 

In the meantime, we enjoy what is left of the fall season. This fall, my daughter and I enjoyed visiting the tiny town of Troy, where I snapped the above picture.