FInally, After All These Years

Twenty-eight years ago today, my husband, Bud Glick, and I were married.

We met as photography graduate students of Walter Rosenblum at Brooklyn College in 1981. It wasn't love at first sight, at least for me. The first day of class, Bud strode up to Walter, all handshaking and back slapping. Oh, shit, I thought, teacher's pet just arrived.

Well, pretty soon it became clear why Walter admired Bud so much. They shared a passion for Social Documentary photography. Bud's early 1980's documentary work for the nascent Chinatown History Project, is so evocative of the time and place that to see it now is stepping back in time. Beautifully composed and in the moment, the work stands the test of time.

Bud continues to make images that project time and place, revealing the lives of subjects.

I, on the other hand, was attracted to Formalism, seeking unintentional design in everyday surroundings. Never, ever photographed people, just places and things. It was a real head scratcher for some professors who wondered what I was doing in Walter's program. I was too naive to wonder myself,  just moved along on my singular path. I eventually transitioned into the moving image realm, while Bud remained in the still world.

Long story short, we're finally collaborating, work wise, producing web videos. He's a little movie camera shy, but I think it secretly excites him. Bud brings his expert vision and I get to boss him around. What's better than that?

To see some great stuff go to: budglickphoto.com

Safe Haven

"Haven", according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means "a place offering favorable opportunities or conditions." This, in terms of photos and other dearly held objects, does not include basements or attic spaces.

A recent client brought me down to her (gasp) basement archives. Her own, as well as her in-laws', family photos and memorabilia were stored there. Fortunately, not on the floor. Nonetheless, not a safe haven.

Moisture, mold, heat, damp, plumbing leaks, floods, leaking roofs, squirrels acting squirrelly and mice acting micey -  HORRORS!

These destructive elements can happen in a moment or over a longer period of time.  We mistakenly believe that our belongings a safely stored up there in the attic or down there in the basement. Tick Tock Rot Rot

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS: GET THEM OUT OF THERE!

Until you're ready to EDIT the collection, find an adequate storage area free from moisture or wide temperature fluctuations. Many living floor closets fit the bill. Make room. You know there's plenty of space if you'd just throw some stuff out. Do It. You'll feel better.

Again, until you're ready to EDIT, keep the albums intact and put loose photos in acid free holders or envelopes. Put them all in a lidded plastic storage box. Throw in some silica packets to minimize excess moisture. Yep, save those Silica Do Not Eat thingies that you find with packing materials and pill bottles. They come in handy and they're free, kinda.

Now you've found a haven, at least for your photos!

Next the task of EDTING will be discussed. It's tough. Sometimes you need a professional to get things under control.

 

Avoid Lost Photo Storm Sadness

Today's Bergen Record reports on another sad effect of post-Hurricane Sandy - the loss of treasured personal mementos, especially photographs. Two women, Shannon Pryor and Holly Sprick, have a Facebook page called "Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures."  Here, people can look through the postings of lost & found items, and hopefully, reclaim their unique items.  

Back in November, The New York TImes also described the sense of loss with the past describing storm victims picking through the wreck of their homes. Judith Dupre, author of "Monuments: America's History in Art and Memory", aptly describes family photos as, "Each one of these photos contains a story - they're like a key that opens the door to a life."

Both news articles stress the advantages of the current digital era, the ability to store photos on-line in social media sites as well as in the cloud. Typically, this applies to photos taken digitally. Such photos never see the light of day in print form, thus escaping the ravages of storms and other unfortunate disasters.

The lessons learned are: Do not wait to archive your family history. The next "storm" could be leaky plumbing, spilled drinks, sticky fingers and toddlers with markers!

So, how does one ensure the safety of your printed photos?  As we all know, those can be posted on-line, but they still must be properly scanned and posted. And what about caring for the original photos, and birth certificates, and marriage licenses, and letters, and report cards...?

Next, I'll be posting about the collecting, sorting and editing of these ephemeral possessions. Yes, I said editing. Not everything must be saved for eternity!