Ruminations of an everyday creative

February 15, 2021

One hundred thousand goodbyes

I’ve had my head down for a few days dismantling one of the last remnants of my life as a commission led photographer. With the onset of digital I had to find a new way to deliver images to my London based clients other than high speed courier for the sheets of film.

Photoshelter came to the rescue and has served me very well for a couple of decades, maybe more. As I no longer need an efficient gallery based delivery system it’s time to say goodbye to the service and the fifty dollars a  month subscription fee that I’ve let roll on for far too long.

I couldn’t just pull the plug though. 126 gigabytes of my legacy images slept on their servers so I had to go through them, select and download any which hold special memories, highlights of a fascinating career and those which I’m just too damned stubborn to let go of just yet. 

I did have copies of them triple backed up on dvds, as that was the only really affordable option 15 or so years ago. And each and every one of those boxes of dvds are now unreadable.

And what an interesting exercise it’s been. Dipping into the commercially minded freelance me reminded me of my path to this point and invokes smiles and winces in equal measure. The mindset of a gigging photographer is by necessity so very different to a creative one with some interesting areas of overlap. And I really have no regrets at leaving it all behind me.

But not these images! I’m hanging on to ten thousand and maybe will feed a handful or two out from time to time here, or there or elsewhere as the mood takes me.

Today I give you Pig. Isn’t he beautiful! Complete with his fly companion that flitted between his ear and nose and mine during the shoot. I remember this as if it was yesterday and I think that’s one of the beauties of photography for the creator.

We can be transported right back to a million moments just like that! As I look at this shot I can feel the tickle of the fly on my forehead and smell the very particular aroma of this little guy.

So, tonight I pull this particular plug and let a hundred thousand archival images disappear into the multiverse. Will I regret it? I’m not sure. Ask me tomorrow!

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  1. Goodness me, letting go, there's a lesson that we all need to feel into periodically. I can probably remember some of those images, certainly the thousands you shot for LEF and various stunning garden images on slides. They all shape you so even if they are floating away on the breeze they are all still part of you. Glad that you have kept the ones that move you and some that just make you smile like this handsome dude. I have a whiff of his unique fragrance, as did the fly! (I read your script as 'giggling photographer' rather than 'gigging photographer').

    1. I’m sure you will remember them Anne! And you are right, every shot we take is held in our bodies as a memory, feeling or experience and has helped mould us into who we are, and will continue to do so. Yes, he’s a Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig and quite the character as is the giggling photographer who shot him!! 🙂

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