by Skip Cohen
It's a very different Throwback Thursday post this week, but so appropriate.
Glen Clark and I have been friends since we first met close to thirty years ago through another mutual friend, Terry Deglau, then at Kodak. We've worked together on a long list of projects, and he's one of a small group of buddies who's high on the call list when I need a lift.
He sent me the post below, and I'm ecstatic he's allowed me to share it here. It's Throwback Thursday, and these days none of us have to turn the clock back very far for the fun of old photographs and a walk down Memory Lane.
During the last five months of downtime, one of the most popular activities for every photographer has been cleaning out our closets. As I look at my own collection of photographs over the years, I'm a perfect candidate for a show on hoarding. I have an attic full of prints, many of them framed that will never see the light of day - but we're out of wall space!
Glen's dealing with a challenge we can all identify with - letting go of the footprints from our journey to make room for new ones. And the reason it's so hard? Jodi Picoult's quote, which I've shared numerous times says it all:
"This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect."
by Glen Clark
I am struggling through a sad reality…
As a photography professional, I've spent the better part of my life believing in and promoting that captured images represent memories, moments and milestones we will cherish during our lives and, in some cases, pass along as family heritage and precious treasures. And as an industry, we've promoted the value of large wall prints and decor items for home, office, and even commercial/business/public spaces. These "works of art" have enhanced our environments.
My wife and I have accumulated more than our fair share of photographic art pieces and wall prints, each representing moments in our lives we cherish. But, we're now at that stage when we are reducing, cutting back, and "lightening the load." Our cherished print collection has become a burden.
Our children and their children don't want the "Family Heritage" things we've collected (including our works of art). The sad reality is we need to let these things go. We've shared the few items wanted by family and friends.
Before our treasures are tossed, we're copying them, so we at least have digital memories. I'm now creating digital copies (another story in itself), followed by destroying the originals and throwing them in the trash. An hour after we grabbed the photograph above, the prints around me were gone. It was heartbreaking…but at the same time, it was a bit "freeing."
What advice would I share with my younger self if I could? Here are a few conclusions:
TRUTH – Having one readily available image when wanted is far more valuable than having multiples that need to be searched for to locate.
The one huge takeaway is this…
Cherish each moment for the beauty, friendship, love, etc. it contains and, if you want, keep a few things to remind you of the good times. However, remember that today is here and now, and therefore more valuable than yesterday and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live well, enjoy each day, share your love with people, cherish those close to you, and thank God for it all.
Follow Glen on his Facebook page. You'll never be disappointed in what he's sharing!
8/6/2020 04:25:41 pm
Thanks Skip! I appreciate the kind words and support as we travel down this oh-so-interesting road of life together. What a trip!!! 😳
8/6/2020 05:14:23 pm
I’ve known Glen Clark for 30+ years as well! He really helped me get my business going and gave me confidence to believe in myself. It was an honor to photograph his wedding to Rob who also helped me incredibly when I needed advice. Now I am still getting advice by reading this post Siri hard to dispose of our beloved photographs that we worked so hard to create and it’s a shame to see this new generation believing that just because they have an image on their phone it’ll be there forever or because they have a cell phone they don’t need a professionalfI am still getting advice by reading this post Siri hard to dispose of our beloved photographs that we worked so hard to create and it’s a shame to see this new generation believing that just because they have an image on their phone it’ll be there forever or because they have a cell phone they don’t need a professional. I’ve been to some of your classes, Skip & enjoyed you Immensely. I am so glad to have not missed this post of Glen‘s feelings because I feel the same way. Thanks Skip!
8/11/2020 07:59:45 am
This was a rather shocking thought - that next generations do not want all the art images and family heritage (hoping that would not be regretted in time) but, indeed, a smaller, well-documented collection would be less daunting.
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