Every now and then, if you're lucky, an event comes along in your life that sets the bar so high nothing ever tops it - especially in laughs, comradery and just plain old experiences.
The year is 1993 and the Hasselblad US sales team won a trip to Sweden for a week, along with the sales teams from Hasselblad Belgium and Denmark. That's the whole crew, minus yours truly in the image above.
On this particular leg of the trip the Swedes took us whitewater rafting. We were way up north and the water temp was 45 degrees. I remember looking at Bob Thompson and both of us saying at the same time, "If we fall overboard we're going to die of hypothermia!"
It was cold, wet and to add to the misery of an overcast rainy day, the Swedes decided to make it a true wilderness dining experience. Lunch was slices of raw reindeer heart with some kind of smoked fish served in the equivalent of a Native American sweat lodge, minus the heat. The idea was to duplicate the experience of being a pioneer on the rivers of Sweden. However, the truth was, we all would have traded just about anything for a beer and a burger, but the chuckles were non-stop!
Well, we went from one extreme to the other and a few days later we were all on three sailboats headed out of Gothenborg to a little seaport village called Marstrand. That night it was beer, wine and all the shrimp we could eat, just sitting on deck of the boats. It was an amazing evening, but here's the classic story to come out of that part of the trip.
It was Jim Ritter's (now with Canon USA) 40th birthday. Jim's wife Martha had put together a little birthday package for me to give to him, but I took it one step further. We sang him happy birthday. I gave him Martha's card and then I made a very short speech,
"Jim, now that you're forty, you might as well know I've been out with your wife a few times!" With that I opened my wallet and there was a picture of Martha. Then one by one, EVERYBODY had a picture of Martha in their wallet. The next morning we got on our tour bus and even the bus driver had her picture on his visor with the rest of his family.
It remains one of my very best "gotchas", along with my best investment - $30 or so for a few dozen wallet size copies of Martha's picture!
Throwback Thursdays are as much about the memories as they are the photographs themselves. Take the time and look through your old photographs and pull a few out and just for laughs think about the memories they bring back. Then, think about the incredible level of trust each of your clients put in you and your camera with every event and portrait.
Happy Throwback Thursday!