I found this image in my archives. While this post is mostly a story about some famous camera gear, it's also about an amazing friendship.
That's Ansel Adams' camera gear on the left! It was loaned to him by Victor Hasselblad. In later years, Victor passed away and then some time before Ansel died he gave it to his assistant, Rod Dresser, and essentially told him, "It's consigned to me, just use it and keep it in good shape. When Hasselblad wants it back, they'll ask for it."
Well, the years went by and nobody knew it was even out there. Rod called me one day, probably around '94 and told me about the gear. He didn't feel right still having it. So, we replaced it for him, with newer gear as long as he'd help us promote the sale of it for charity. In the end we raised $100,000 for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Center for Creative Photography, when shock jock, Don Imus, put in his bid...and later wrote me a check!
But here's the real reason this image means so much to me...
My good buddy Nick Vedros offered to help us with an image for the ad we wanted to do. His concept was to create something that looked like it was part of a shipment of artifacts to a museum. He wanted to establish historical value with one image. Remember this is all in the film days with no chance to play around on a computer!
Nick built a box and stylized the shot, finishing with a little light painting to give it the strong look of a shipment of valuable relics. The idea was brilliant and it worked, but the most fun for me personally was the entire concept was created by a good friend.
Finally, I'm at the point of this morning's post...friendship. I've spent my entire life in the photographic industry and along the way met some amazing people - one of them Nick Vedros. I've repeatedly described him as one of the finest and most creative commercial photographers in the world today. But his success isn't just about his creativity and skill set. It's about the commitment he makes to his friends, the integrity he puts into every client relationship and his unmatched passion for life.
I've written this a few dozen times over the years, but the best thing about this industry has NOTHING to do with photography directly. It's about the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest guys in photo, because I keep getting opportunities to work with some of the most creative artists in the world!
Woodrow T. Wilson