Stock photo from the stupid CC collection at Flickr.
A friend died yesterday.
Well, not really a friend, more of an acquaintance really. We never did see eye to eye on what my friend’s real goals were.
Oh, I hung around him for a few years. Coffee. Lunch now and then.
But I always walked away feeling uneasy about my friend. Sort of like he was out of sync with many of my thoughts about photography.
He was a connoisseur of sorts. A collector of photographs, and for those who needed his services, an ally with a long, deep understanding of photography and its uses. For the most part, a rather class act fellow.
A few years ago he got real sick. He had been such a popular guy, and so many people had invested in his friendship that it was simply sad to see him that ill, and totally in denial of his predicament. Many of his long time associates simply left him out of dinner parties and stopped hanging out with him.
His sickness began to change him from a sophisticated searcher of the best art to simply a revolving door of cheap imitations. Even to the point of taking most of his original supporters for granted – or worse. Interventions were attempted, but were always defeated by his arrogance and self importance.
And he allowed himself to be taken over body and soul by a megalomaniacal manager. A boss so powerful that he was consumed by its power. A boss that would define him in ways that were once abhorrent to him.
He increasingly became angry, defiant, greedy. He worshipped at the alter of the fast buck, the cheap sale. Argue against him and he would simply remove you from his increasingly insipid crowd of riff-raff. A once stalwart friend of photography, he became an anathema who prayed on the desires of the beginner, the egos of the wannabe’s.
And he died yesterday. Not so much murdered by Getty, but surely led to the cliff of his own demise by his formidable boss and overseer.
His name was Stock Photography. Getty killed Stock Photography yesterday. Perhaps out of self righteousness, perhaps to put it out of its misery. Perhaps because they are collectively evil and stupid. I don’t really know… or care.
I will never forget him, but I will always remember that the choices my friend made led him to his ultimate demise. So many of us tried to warn him that he was on a spiral that would only take him to this ultimate end
He simply refused to listen and now he is gone.