The best part of any job is the people you work with. The worst part is letting them go. Even when you know that their moving on shows growth on their part and some small contribution to their growth on your part.
In my bizzaro reality the magazine business works both ahead of the calendar and at the same time behind the calendar. Sound weird? Living it is weirder. The picture below is from a fall shoot in 2011 in Door County, for a fall 2012 issue, that I'm retouching in June. It's strange to be shooting something in fall that won't see daylight for a year then open the images in early summer when it's going to be 90° F over the weekend. So in other words I shoot ahead for far from now to get things in early enough for my editors and art director to work their magic in the present so that things are on time in the future of what I shot in the past.
I talked a couple of blogs ago about gearing up for camping, and my slight obsession with the packs, tents, and stoves that go with us into the woods. The gear is very important, but I go through another gearing up, a different getting ready. As late spring leans towards summer, I begin to load the backpack of my mind, finding things I always put in from the past even as I load a real backpack in the present.
A camera is a camera, a job is a job, but when a camera is your job it becomes something more akin to a passport. Sometimes that passport not only gives access to special places and interesting people, it opens a door in time. These doors in time are framed not in wood or steel, but rather in flesh and bone. Joyce Hill Westerman of Kenosha is one of those doors that opened for me. Remember that movie ” A League of Their Own ” about the All American Girls Girls Professional Baseball League? Joyce was one of those girls in real life, from 1945-1952 she, her skirt, catcher’s mitt and bat moving around the midwest, playing for the Grand Rapids Chicks, South Bend Blue Sox, Fort Wayne Daisies, Peoria Redwings, and the Racine Belles. She told stories of girls baseball, including the now-funny idea of the girls being required to go to charm school and have chaperones. Lucky for me, she held onto not just her memories, but also a treasure trove of memorabilia from her baseball career. Thanks, Joyce for letting us go back with you.