For ten years, starting in the early 90's, there was a group of photographers who went into Yellowstone for three days every winter. Orchestrated by my good buddy, Duncan MacNab from Bozeman, even without the album I'd remember every detail of each trip.
We'd all fly into Bozeman. The following morning a bus would take us up to the park where we'd pick up our sleds and warm weather gear. We'd spend the next two full days in the park, typically doing 300+ miles on a trip. The stories that came out of these annual trips are pretty much unrivaled by anything I've done since!
Duncan has more toys than anybody on the planet. For a couple of years he had a gas grill he brought along and on this trip he fired up the grill on Lake Yellowstone. Picture sub-zero temperatures and a bunch of guys having cheeseburgers fresh off the grill! I remember one year, it being so cold that a Pepsi turned to slush, while I was holding it!
While the purpose of the trip was to photograph Yellowstone in the winter, the trademark became eating badly. Every morning it was breakfast at the Silver Spur in West Yellowstone. Seriously, nothing beats kicking off the day with biscuits and gravy and a chicken-fried steak. I always made sure the trips were at least six months before my annual physical.
There are three points to this Throwback Thursday post, the first very recent. Bob Thompson, (the guy on the left in the top picture), Sheila and I had dinner together the other night at WPPI. Bob was the western regional sales manager at Hasselblad back then and our friendship started in 1987. We spent the entire dinner the other night laughing over stories from the past, along with just catching up on what's going on in the industry today. Had we both not been at WPPI the opportunity would have been missed. It's a prime example of why you need to attend as many conventions as you can each year. This industry is built on relationships and you can't build them if you're home on the sidelines.
The second point is more typical of a Throwback Thursday. After each trip Duncan used to put together an album of images. Remember, this was back in the film days - there was no digital photography. It was always a mix from many of the photographers on the trip. I apologize for the quality, but they're scans of prints from the '93 album.
The last point is the value of the memories themselves. You never know what's going to happen in life and we've lost a couple of people over the years.
Bob Golding was a wonderful photographer with a huge heart and passion for the industry and his friends. He's sitting next to me, looking right at the camera, in the image from the Silver Spur. Ed Lobit is in a couple of pictures and the guy with the big gray beard. The only thing bigger than Ed's heart was his laugh and just looking at these images, I can still hear him as if he was standing right next to me. These images bring me back to every laugh, conversation and memory-making moment with both Bob and Ed. We always talk about the value of images to our clients, but we tend to remember the value to ourselves.
The bottom line...get those memory-making pictures at every event. Go out of your way to participate in events that might seem "off the grid". Hang out with other photographers. Then, print a few of them, save all of them and every now and then have some fun digging back through your archives!
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.