"We didn't realize we were making memories. We were just having fun!"
Winnie the Pooh
I've written a lot over the years about looking forward towards today and tomorrow rather than spending time looking in the rearview mirror and wishing something in your life could be different. All of us know we can't turn back the clock, but there are times when a good look back might be just the thing you need. I found myself doing that when I found this image.
It was a little over thirty-two years ago I got a call from a headhunter wanting to know if I knew anybody who wanted to be president of a small camera company. I thought it was my brother-in-law pulling a practical joke and after a few classic expletives, I started to hang up the phone as the voice on the other end of the line yelled, "This is legit!"
The job was president of Hasselblad USA and little did I know it would launch some of the most incredible friendships of my career. Two of the first people I met outside the company were Dean Collins and his "right hand," Tony Corbell. Hasselblad had previously committed to Dean's first big roadshow together with Kodak and Sinar Bron. Meeting with the two of them during PPA's convention was one of my early official responsibilities in my new role.
We were all in Orlando and agreed to meet. Dean, and Tony both showed up in suits. Those of you who knew Dean, think back and tell me when you ever saw him in a suit! He couldn't have been more uncomfortable - and since this was supposed to be a casual meeting and I was a rookie...I showed up in a pair of cutoffs having been hanging out by the pool for an hour before the pre-convention meeting.
Years later, Tony and Dean would both give me stories about their pre-meeting thoughts. They were meeting with a guy from Polaroid, who had no experience on the professional side of the business, and his name was "Skip." They pictured me as the guy who was going to launch Hasselblad into every Kmart in the country!
And here's my point for this Throwback Thursday - There are moments when looking back is like savoring a great wine, old scotch or that favorite meal your mother used to make when you were a kid. It's those moments from the past that for me, for example, help to appreciate those special moments now.
For years I've said the best thing about this industry has NOTHING to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Remember, there was no Internet back then, and the world was a huge place. Today it fits on our phones, watches, and laptops. We meet new people every day in social media, face to face at conferences and phone calls.
Looking back can be a pretty fantastic thing if you're selective about which past events to explore. In 1987 the door opened up that brought me to this very minute right now. And the best part of the journey is, I'm still learning, still smiling and still cherishing the role each of you plays in my life, and an industry I love dearly.
About the image: In September '87, we did an open house for all the journalists from the industry in NY/NJ. It's a scan from a 2 1/4 contact print I found. Considering my flatbed is a low-end Epson, it's a pretty decent scan and should be good enough to spot some of the most influential pioneers in journalism thirty-two years ago. We had just officially opened the remodeled office in New Jersey and did our version of a ribbon cutting.
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.