It Started With a Conversation with Jeremy Sutton

Between the twelve year chapter of my Hasselblad career and the seven years I was with Rangefinder/WPPI, that’s almost twenty years of meeting some incredible people in our industry.  

This week I had a great conversation with Jeremy Sutton, an artist from San Francisco. In every presentation at WPPI or things he was doing in his booth, he was always having fun. I don’t remember ever seeing him without a smile on his face.  I hung up the phone and immediately went to his website to catch up on what he’s been doing. I found the image above in his gallery and the story behind it when he was teaching at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.

“This painting depicts Flamenco dancers and musicians performing at the historic El Farol in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is based on a series of photographs I took with kind permission of the fabulous performers while I was in Santa Fe teaching Painting the Passion of Flamenco at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. The colors, composition and approach used in this painting were inspired by John Singer Sargent’s magnificent El Jaleo and John Nieto’s vibrant fauvist works.”

You’ll find a lot more stunning work on his website. It’s well worth wandering through his galleries. Jeremy combines photography and art, but it wasn’t his skill as an artist that sparked the idea for this post, but how much he loves what he’s doing.

We hadn’t spoken since before I left WPPI, coming up on six years in March. He asked what I was doing now and as I spoke, I realized how truly happy I am. For many years, I lived vicariously through so many of you as I watched you struggle, yet control your destiny. You took risks…you chased dreams…you built your brand.  You weren’t always smiling, but you were always focused on your goals, even when those goals might be changing, because of the economy or technology. I’ve been inspired by so many of you.

This Wednesday I’m headed to NYC for PhotoPlus Expo and the anticipation is almost overwhelming. I have all kinds of ideas running through my head for new projects next year. I have two days of meetings with companies and people I respect. I’m looking forward to catching up to friends and associates I haven’t seen for months and wondering who’s that one person I haven’t seen in years who will turn up at the show.

I found a quote this morning by Artie Shaw, that so hit home and I want to share it with you, because it really is the way, with Sheila’s help, I’ve learned to live my life…

“So, have fun. Get into your life and do what you enjoy and be the best at what you can be. 
Maybe you won’t be successful and rich by the world’s standards, 
but you will have the best life capable of having. 
If you don’t do that, you’re cheating yourself.”
Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend, loaded with smiles and memory-making moments with family and friends.

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