For ten years straight there was a group of photographers and friends who went into Yellowstone Park every winter. It was an amazing experience, the common denominator always being everyone's love for photography.
The trips were organized by good buddy, Duncan MacNab, who many of you know from PPA, print judging and his non-stop activity in the industry for so many years.
We'd all meet in Bozeman and then head up to the park. On a typical year we'd do 250-300 miles on snowmobiles, covering most of Yellowstone and nearby Two Top. Just guessing, we probably had $100,000 of camera gear with us, mostly Hasselblad and Nikon.
We used to laugh about that line of "He who dies with the most toys wins," because Duncan had already won.
Nobody has more toys than Dunc and that's one of them in the picture below on the right. He had a gas grill on runners he used to tow through the park. At 10-20 degrees below zero he'd be flipping cheeseburgers at lunch time.
Remember too, this was at a time when we were all shooting film. There really was no Internet, no Facebook, Twitter, etc. We kept in touch the old fashioned way - with the phone. I have to admit I miss it. It's that art of conversation we need to bring back and step out from behind text messages and emails.
Who's in the group shot?
In the middle of the back row in the white sweater is Bob Golding, who we lost a few years ago and just to the right, Ed Lobit, who passed away a few years before Bob. Both were extremely active in PPA and you couldn't ask for two better friends. As sad as I am to know they've passed on, the memories I have of simply hanging out with them every year on an adventure like this are truly priceless.
Notable members of the photographic industry back then in this shot are Mark Roberts (bottom left), Bob Thompson next to Mark's wife and Andy Foster, then president of PPA. Second row has Duncan MacNab, me, Chris Kent (one of the all time great guides and the most fun non-photographer I think I've ever hung out with) and Jim Jernigan. Top right corner is Vern McClish who many of you knew from Polaroid and Hallmark Institute.
Besides the fun of a walk down Memory Lane, here's the point to this Throwback Thursday post...for those of you relatively new to the industry, as you spend more and more time as a professional photographer, many of the people you've met at various conventions will become your closest friends. Take advantage of the time you have together and make some memories. You don't have to wait until the next convention to get together. Make a few calls, plan a trip and just take your gear and go out shooting for a few days.
The longer you're in the industry the more memories you'll make for your own Throwback Thursday posts and, just like me right now, each image will open the flood gates for a ton of laughter and great stories.
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.