Most of you never had the privilege of meeting Ray DeMoulin, but he's responsible, in part, for the success of so many photographers in our industry. He passed away this week and even though I haven't seen him in a few years, we still kept in touch. I know it sounds a little bizarre, but I can feel the hole in the fabric of photography already.
I first met Ray when I joined Hasseblad as president in the late 80's. Kodak Professional was in its glory then, due much in part to Ray's direction. He had an amazing staff, surrounding himself with some remarkably approachable people.
In an earlier post about Ray, after he left Kodak, I told this story...
"Ray was considering Rudy Guttosch for a position at Foveon, but Rudy worked for us at Hasselblad. Ray called me to tell me he wanted to hire Rudy. I remember him saying that if I had a problem with it, he wouldn't make him an offer. As much as we hated to lose him, it was the right decision. With his incredible background he just wasn't being utilized. To this day, Ray calling me first, before making Rudy an offer, really set a standard for professionalism...and friendship."
...and that's how Ray operated. It was business on a handshake and always focused on his relationships. Twenty-five years before Scott Stratten wrote the book, "UnMarketing," focusing on the importance of relationship building, Ray was already walking the talk. Ray was all about friendships and working to establish a win-win on everything he worked on.
Last fall I wrote a post about Ray. He was trying to track down the artist who did this image, portraying him as the Patron Saint of Film. It was a gift presented to him by one of the associations back in the 80's, but we never found the creator. However, it's another prime example of what made Ray so special. He had enjoyed the painting for years and just wanted to track down the artist to say, "Thanks".
So, to Barbara, Ray's wife and the rest of his family, I can only express my sadness, prayers and appreciation for all of you sharing Ray with an industry that so badly always needed his guidance and inspiration.
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts.
And we are never ever the same."*
And to my good buddy, Ray...you are already so missed. You clearly left a "footprint" on so many hearts. I know you're going to continue to watch over all of us, along with Dean Collins and so many great friends who have gone before you. I honestly have no words to express my appreciation for your amazing friendship. I cherish the memories. Thanks for your friendship and inspiration for so many years.
* Author unknown
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