by Skip Cohen
Our home is filled with photographs. Many are gifts from special friends over the years, but some of my most favorite are just the images that wound up in a frame on a desk or bookshelf. Over and over again, they serve to remind me of some great moments from days long gone by.
The image above was taken at a Hasselblad Sales Meeting in the 90's. There are two great background stories on the image. First, I remember being furious that Mike Bowen, a good buddy who passed away a few years ago, wore sneakers, when the rest of us were so "authentic". I can only laugh about it now. This is all before digital. Today, we'd just put boots on him!
Second, we actually hired a photographer in Tucson and never noticed what he shot with until the horses had been taken back to the stable and he was packing up his gear. Pretty embarrassing that the image was done with a Bronica, one of our major competitors at the time!
Look around at the photographs in your own home. The fun of this industry is our ability to provide people with images that spark memories. There's no such thing as "just a picture". Every photograph tells a story.
In talking with so many different photographers every day, either on the phone, in person or in cyberspace, I've noticed how few of you realize the power of your skill set. You literally have the ability to help people stop time and turn intangible moments into something they can actually hold, look at over and over again and cherish.
There are two posts written in the last couple months I wish could be made mandatory for every professional photographer. The first is Michele Celentano's "I Believe". If the image above had only been on a CD it wouldn't make me smile every day! She's done an amazing job of helping us to remember the power of a print.
The second post, was just this past week by Liz Huston. Until Tamron USA introduced me to Liz, we had never met. This one single post has had such a strong impact, because Liz hit on something so many of us have felt, but failed to recognize or simply ignored. It's a powerful message she's put in front of us. It's a reminder to keep in touch with your own spirit.
So, each time you click the shutter this weekend, whether you're shooting a wedding, an event, a portrait or just hanging out with friends and documenting a moment - think about the amazing career path you've chosen. Think about the power of each image you create. If your heart doesn't start to race a little and there's no smile on your face, then it might be time to just step back.
You might need to refocus, like Liz did. Most important of all, remember there are so many of us out here to help and we're all just an email or phone call away.
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.