It's Sunday morning, and I'm going off-track from photography, but not too far away from something I've grown to love about our craft...the combination of cyberspace and friendships.
Here's the short backstory: In November 2014 I was putting together a spotlight profile about a Tamron Image Master, Kevin A. Gilligan. The SCU blog was less than a year old, and Kevin's story and images were all part of the relatively new partnership in social media with Tamron USA. Even when I know it's going to be okay, I ALWAYS call the artist before using their images. I called Kevin, and that was the start of a very special friendship I've grown to cherish.
Over the years we've spoken on the phone dozens of times, and covered a wide range of topics, many completely outside photography. With each call, the friendship grew a little more. Kevin was even willing to share a few guest blogs, and his DIY post about holding your own exhibition contained so much useful information I had to run it in three parts. I'm sharing the links below because it's Spring and many of you are thinking about doing your own exhibit. If you've ever thought about doing your own photography show, take the time to follow Kevin's suggestions.
So, over the last five years, the friendship just kept growing, but the two of us had never met face to face. His sister and brother-in-law live only a few miles from us part of the year, and the four of us have gotten out to dinner a few times...we were getting closer to meeting! Finally, a few weeks ago, while in LA Sheila and I got over to Kevin's house and hung out for the day with him and his family. We'd finally done it!
What got me thinking about the friendship this morning was a trip to the post office yesterday and a package from Kevin. In it was a metal print of the image above, one my favorites from his work and a thank you note. It was a complete surprise, but our home is like a gallery, and you already know from my previous posts how much I cherish the friendships in this industry.
Next month we'll be in St. Louis, teaching at ShutterFest. Then in August, I'll be teaching at ClickCon in Chicago. Different programs, different people, but all sharing a common denominator - meeting friends face to face who have only been together in cyberspace. It's one of the most important and beneficial reasons for attending every possible conference/convention you can find the time.
As I've written dozens of times in the past, the best part of this industry has NOTHING to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. So to my good buddy Kevin, thanks for being there so many times, on so many calls and finally in person!
Sometimes you meet a person and you just click - you're comfortable with them,
like you've known them your whole life, and you don't have to pretend to be anyone or anything!
Wishing everybody a terrific Sunday and a day filled with time to nurture your friendships. Cherish that time together because it's what makes life so special. Always go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs. Even in cyberspace if you focus hard enough you can reinforce that special bond you share.
Happy Sunday everybody...or if you're on the other side of the world, Monday.
PS Interested in seeing more of Kevin's work? Just click on his image of Manhattan Beach Pier at Sunrise above.
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.