Back in the late 80's, Terry Deglau was Kodak's industry coordinator for professional photographers in the portrait-social categories, which essentially was everybody under the portrait/wedding umbrella. Terry was the guy everybody worked with and back in those days Kodak was a powerhouse. So, if you were shooting print film, odds are you knew Terry.
I was just a little over a year into my role at Hasselblad USA and little did I know meeting Terry was going to become the foundation for one of my very most cherished friendships of my career, both in and out of business. Over the years, it was one adventure after another. Winter Yellowstone trips, Yosemite driving Ansel Adam's car, working on Don Blair's book, Body Parts and one history making promotion after another between our two companies top the list of memory-makers.
On Friday night, December 4, St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA honored Terry with an exhibit that touched on many of Terry's most iconic images, including all the heads of state at the U.N. in 2000. It was an incredible evening, and a few of us made it there to catch up to our good buddy.
True to form, it was a reunion that defies an adequate description of emotion and walks down memory lane. All four of us share history with Terry and have remained friends for all these years, and that's my point this morning. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, only because I am, it's so important to recognize that nothing beats great friendships. It's so easy in a world where we're bombarded with the pressure of business and the day in day out stress of life to miss those special moments.
Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to Latrobe and never told Terry I was coming. Walking into the gallery that night and seeing the look on his face and him seeing mine brought us both to tears. The rest of the evening was spent with 230 people in attendance to talk with Terry, look at his work and pay tribute to an artist who in so many ways had an impact on thousands of photographers today.
So, there it is, it's the relationships you build in business and your personal life that make your life. Don't take them for granted and make it a point especially this holiday season to catch up to a few special people from your past.
And to my good buddy Terry - you were always the older brother I never had and like any "kid brother," I couldn't be prouder!