Prague, Prince William Lobkowicz and some Jennie Zeiner photos in ForbesLife

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A dream project. Getting paid to run around one of the most beautiful cities in the world taking pictures. Working with a client who is not only absolutely enjoyable and encouraging but also from a prestigious magazine. Photographing a Prince at a Palace, who could not be more amiable. Meeting nice people from first-class businesses in Prague, eating at the chef’s table at one of the finest restaurants. I feel very fortunate to experience jobs that I’m a bit sad when they are over.

Back to the Prince. If you are in Prague, you simply must go to the Lobkowicz Palace. Of all the museums I’ve ever been to, I think it is the one where history feels truly alive- breathing and personal. Do the audio tour and send your out-of-town guests too.

You can read the article from ForbesLife here.

Sicily

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Portraits for University of New York in Prague

Here are some portraits I did for the University of New York in Prague for a testimonial campaign about their MBA program. The objective was to communicate success while showing something about their profession. It’s always a treat to meet interesting people and I’m glad when they say the portrait experience wasn’t as painful as they thought it would be.

 

 

 

photos around Prague

These are pictures I’m taking in and around Prague to share my appreciation for this beautiful city.

Pictures of Prague

[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguea.jpg]60Ruldofinum, Prague Castle
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragueb.jpg]40Dancing House, Prague
It was designed by Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić in co-operation with Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot (where the previous building had been destroyed during the Bombing of Prague in 1945). The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996.
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguec.jpg]30view of Vltava River, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragued.jpg]30Manes tower, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguee.jpg]30apartment buildings, New Town, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguef.jpg]30apartment buildings, New Town, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragueg.jpg]30Vltava river boardwalk, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragueh.jpg]30boat on the Vltava River, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguei.jpg]20swans on Vltava River, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguej.jpg]20Vltava River from Slovansky ostrov
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragueja.jpg]20view of Prague from Letna park
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguek.jpg]20school cafeteria, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguel.jpg]20Ministry building, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguem.jpg]20Church of St Anthony, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguen.jpg]20Prague TV tower view from Letna park
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragueo.jpg]10Letna park, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguep.jpg]10Stromovka park, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragueq.jpg]10Stromovka park, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_praguer.jpg]10Sts Cyril and Methodius Church prague
This church became very well-known after the WWII when it became the hiding place for seven Czech parachutists after the assassination of the Reich governor of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich. There is a museum in the church commemorating this tragedy and it is well worth seeing.
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_pragues.jpg]10Karlovo Namesti, New Town Hall, Prague
According to wikipedia, Karlovo Namesti was founded in 1348 as the main square of the New Town by Charles IV, New Town Hall was the site of the first of the three defenestrations of Prague in 1419.
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_shot_1309878121355.jpg]10looking toward Charles Bridge, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_shot_1309879197382.jpg]10looking toward Charles Bridge, Prague
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_shot_1310045797046.jpg]10Beroun river
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_shot_1312112773358.jpg]10panelaks, military base fence in Prokopské údolí
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_shot_1312109681236.jpg]10Prokopské údolí
[img src=http://www.zeinerimages.com/wp-content/flagallery/picture-of-prague/thumbs/thumbs_shot_1311794347992.jpg]10Prague Castle from Grosetto Marina

A nice, unsolicted account of Prague Photography workshops

I never started a blog because I knew I would not be good at posting on a regular basis. So I need to triple thank Helen Ford, a completely lovely person who attended my photography workshops this past weekend, who (without my asking her to) wrote about her workshop experience in her blog: CzechingInHelen Riddle's photograph- bravo!

Thank you, Helen, for your kind words, for your attendance because I’m glad to have met you and for giving me something easy to post on my blog. We were all impressed that you got over the natural intimidation to approach a stranger to photograph them. Keep up your good work with your photography.

Travel in France

In my book, it would have been sacrilegious to have a photo assignment to the south of France and not spend a bit more time exploring the region. I studied French for several years and, as many people do, have a great affinity for the culture, countryside AND food. It is also incredibly refreshing to go somewhere that I can communicate and interact with people sans difficulty in their native language- not like in Czech Republic.

I’ve been to France several times and wanted to see new places, the sun and sea. The New York Times travel section has been a great resource in the past and proved equally spot-on for this trip.

My first stop was Bandol, a town on the coast east of Marseille on the Côte d’Azur. The day I arrived, there was an article in the NY Times about the red wines from Bandol. Some French friends had also told me the reds from this area are an excellent value since Bandol is well known for its rosés but the reds are exceptional quality, described as “powerful and velvety”. Yum. The serendipitous timing of the article was surely a sign that I was in the right place.

In addition to lower prices, visiting very popular tourist towns in off-season proved to have several advantages. You could easily imagine the standstill summer traffic on the Quai Charles de Gaulle and hear the throngs of sunburned tourists. Instead, locals were extra friendly, restaurants were no-reservation-required, and traffic and parking were hassle-free. Going to sleep listening to the Mediterranean waves crashing gave me a Zen-bliss but I was also eager to see what I would discover the next day.

The weather wasn’t quite warm enough to sit on a beach so after a walk through the village, I decided to explore Bandol’s surroundings. I drove on a scenic department road, surrounded by famous vineyards to the medieval village of La Cadière d’Azur.  Like Bandol, the village was remarkably empty and while charming, I wanted to see a bit more life. The nearby village Castellet felt less like a deserted ghost town. I convinced the owner of a special sandwich shop that I was not a spy sent to copy his secret recipes through photographs.

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Driving to my next destination- the village of Rousillon in the Luberon region (just north of Aix-en-Provence), I saw some of the most spectacular landscapes I’ve seen in years. Windy roads leading over hills that were like richly-woven tapestries of autumn leaves, through quaint yet unique villages, next to creeks and by vineyards. And to think- this is my job while others sit in offices!!

I also learned of Le Luberon from an article in the NY Times travel section, described as “a collection of small hilltop towns in sun-baked northern Provence” full of particularly amazing restaurants and farmer’s markets that rotate through the villages. I chose Roussillon for its location and because it would have a farmers market on one of the mornings during my stay.

Roussillon is classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France- if you’ve been to France at all; you know this is quite a feat. The color palette reminded me a bit of Santa Fe, New Mexico because of the contrast between the red/orange/yellow ochre rocks and the deep blue sky. At first it seemed there were no restaurants open for dinner but a nice man at my hotel assured me that there was one restaurant open- Le Castrum. This selection makes for easy decision making.

If I felt a tinge of disappointment that there was only one restaurant open in the village, it quickly dissipated with the warm welcome and homey vibe in the restaurant. Since there was only one choice, this was the place to be and everyone seemed content. I learned that the homey vibe was in part from the familial operation: the kitchen was “manned” by one woman, her daughter was the server and the owner also helped serve tables.

I said earlier that it was refreshing to be able to communicate but the downside was since I could understand what people were saying, it was almost impossible not to listen- not like in Prague where chatter is really just white noise in the background. A fun group of three couples from Panama came in and I offered to help translate French/Spanish for them.

The next morning I went quickly to the Roussillon market before the real purpose of my trip- a shoot for Satcon in Les Mees. At the market I bought beautiful spices, fresh olive oil, homemade soap, mustard with balsamic vinegar, and sunflower honey. Can the experience of buying such exquisitely simple and perfectly wonderful products be more different than shopping at a supermarket??

The rest of my day involved another spectacular drive, interacting with friendly people and a very interesting shoot of a massive solar farm. When I returned to Roussillon, there was a 2nd restaurant open, right next to Le Castrum but I felt it would be disloyal to go there. People greeted me as if I’d been coming for years, asking me how my day was, how did I sleep, etc. The couples from Panama were back too and they insisted I have a drink with them.

The following day was my last in Le Luberon. I drove to Gordes and walked around the village, which looks more like a movie set than a place where people live. After Gordes, I went to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue where I finished a very fun trip with yet another delicious meal. The week was an exhilarating combination of work and leisure and I would return to the region in a heartbeat. There were so many pictures to take along the road but it wasn’t always easy to find a place to stop. I thought of something (exceptional photographer) Charlie Riedel said when I heard him speak for my photojournalism class- that he knew the kind of week he was having by how many u-turns he made. I had an excellent week.

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Great advice for photographers from a few Masters

I noticed this video posted on Facebook by the wife of my friend/awesome photographer/really cool guy Brian Smith. Hosted by the World Photography Organisation, the video with these Sony Artisans of Imagery was apparently impromptu and not at all scripted. I thought I’d watch for a minute but the advice they give is really great and once Elliott Erwitt came on, I had to watch until the end.

I love listening to people like Elliott Erwitt and Jay Maisel- they have incredible wisdom and share it in such a simple way, so different than the way many people communicate today. Whether you are starting out as a photographer, you’re an amateur or you’ve been a professional for a while, the video is definitely worth watching.

As a side note, I am also a huge fan of Brian’s wife, Fazia- thanks again for sharing, Faz!

Solar energy in Europe

A really great, ongoing gig I have is with Satcon, an international manufacturer of inverters for solar PV installations. If taking pictures of inverters- visually essentially a metal box- doesn’t sound interesting, you might be surprised.

When they told me I’d go to many different sites through Europe to photograph the installations, I was curious how different the sites would be. So far I’ve visited two sites in Czech Republic and one site in France and they are very unique and interesting visually. The site in Les Mées, France was particularly spectacular. It is the largest solar farm in France located on top of a large ascent with the Alps in the background and it took my breath away. As you can imagine, these jobs (and the associated travel) beat an office job any day.

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KIT’s Kaleil Tuzman apres Startup.com for Forbes magazine

Kaleil Tuzman graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, worked at Goldman Sachs and started his first business, govWorks.com, at 27 years old. Tuzman and the company were the subject of a 2001 documentary called Startup.com, which tracked the growth and failure of the company as an example of the track many followed during the dot.com bubble/bust.

Tuzman recovered and started a new company, KIT digital Inc., with a very busy headquarters in Prague. During our shoot for Forbes, he was friendly and charismatic. I chose to include his dog not only because he was  gorgeous (yes, I was jealous) and the white provided nice contrast to the background but also because Prague’s office/life culture is extremely accommodating to dogs.