This is more for you newbies out there than the seasoned veterans, but last week at this time I was packing up to leave NYC after the PPE show. Catching up to old friends at the show has put me in a reflective mood all week long and it's a great feeling. The longer you're in this industry, the more links you have to other photographers. It's like playing the six degrees of separation game with Kevin Bacon, only the common denominator is any industry icon, a workshop, convention or trade show.
Put any two people from the photographic industry together who have at least five years or more as photographers and you'll eventually find a connection. This is an amazing industry, bringing us together through the mutual love we all share for the craft!
I've written a few times about my home being like a gallery, with prints from dozens of different photographers hanging on the walls spanning my career which, at least on the professional side, started at Hasselblad in 1987. There are two prints from Dave Ashby, who Sheila had never met and I haven't seen in years. PPE gave us a chance to catch up.
I also caught up to Liz Huston in the Tamron booth. Bob Coates and I did a broadcast with Frederick Van Johnson. Frederick and I go back at least a couple of careers and Bob and I have been hanging out for years, but this was his first time at the NY show. I caught Gregory Heisler over at Amphoto and saw his new book. We caught John Paul Caponigro on his way to a meeting and walked into Javits one morning with Joe McNally. The list goes on and on, as each trade show/convention reminds me how lucky I am to be in an industry I love.
So, all you newbies - get to every program you possibly can. Build your network. Give more than you take and listen more than you talk. Then, in just a few short years, sit back and enjoy the friendships you've worked hard to build. There are so few industries that offer the kinds of relationships we're so lucky to have in photography. What a kick!
Make it a great weekend and cherish the time with family and friends!