A tribute to my late business partner and best friend. January 22 2018, 0 Comments
If we are fortunate enough, we may at least once in our lives, have a friend so wonderful, so insightful that he or she can see in us what we cannot see in ourselves. It is what my 28 year friend and business partner did for me. I'd like to think that I did that for him as well.
Robert bought me my first camera. I was in graduate school and finishing a second Master's Degree. When he gave it to me back in 1989, he said I would make a great photographer. I thanked him and reminded him that I was already on a career path. He smiled and said, 'Yes, but you are going to make a great photographer."
Robert was harsh sometimes with my work but I came to understand that his perfection would help shape the way I saw and captured light. His severe editing helped shape the simplicity of my work. Over the many years he encouraged me and was supportive, although we made arguing an art form! I saw my work develop and diversify. I could always tell when he liked a photograph. He'd say, "Wow! Is this for me?"
If I had a particular notion for a new collection he was honest when I asked him what he thought about it. Sometimes he would just look at me and then blurt out, "Where did you get a stupid idea like that?" More often, he would tell me to go for it. I loved that he would let me know when something was not thought through properly.
I have gone through generations of cameras but I still have that first camera, a Minolta 370. The process is the same...hand held light meter, manual settings, tripod. I am out of the chemical darkroom and into the electronic darkroom.
It took until I was 45 to pay off my student loans for the degrees which sit in a drawer. And everytime I get ready to shoot these days, I hear the echos of Robert's voice, "Go for it. You're going to make a great photographer."