A Throwback Thursday Classic – The Hasselblad Crew


Starting with Karen Hart in the bottom left…Al Zimmerman Cor VanderBeek, Jim Morton, Peter Power, Jim Ritter, Keith Johnson and Bob Nunn.

Maybe one of the crew above will remember when this was taken, but my best guess is the 90’s. It was a classic routine pose, every time we got together. Before digital, everybody in the industry had an Olympus Stylus in their briefcase and the self-timer became the most used or abused feature! Whenever we were together somebody at the end of the evening would toss the camera on the floor and we’d all jump in around it for a group selfie.

That’s part of the Hasselblad Sales Force with Al Zimmerman and Jim Morton, but there’s more to the back story.

First, everybody is dressed up, so the image was before we went casual in the booth at conventions. So, my guess is they were all at a trade show or convention, probably NYC.  I used to wear nothing but double-breasted suits and the minute we got into logo-wear and casual attire from Lands End, people would come up and talk to me. I had somebody tell me the suits were intimidating and scared them away. LOL – I always thought we simply looked professional.

Second, Jim Ritter has a cigar in his hand and Cor is smoking one. Find me any place where you could have a cigar inside a building after ’98 or so. Plus, the stories an image stirs up is another fun aspect of Throwbacks. Every Friday, all year long, Al Zimmerman, Bob Nunn, Jim Morton and I would grab a cigar and sit in the outside alcove of the office entrance. We’d wheel a few chairs out of the conference room and reflect on the week. Al and I would look at each other and in unison say, “And then there ___!” We did the countdown of the number of weeks left in the year, and it always tied into our sales numbers being reported to the home office in Sweden.

And that brings me to one last back story. I was hired in 1987 by the worldwide president of Hasselblad, Jerry Oster. In the first couple of months, he’d call me once a week and ask, “How is everything going?” I’d always answer the same, “Terrific!”  It was going great. I was getting to know all the different aspects of Hasselblad’s business, the employees, and our dealers. We were coming up with some great ideas for future programs, and I was slowly building trust with the team.

Well at my first Board meeting the numbers were less than stellar, and Jerry looked at me and said, “You told me everything was terrific.”  It was terrific, but he meant the sales numbers – not how I was doing in the job. It was a rude awakening but certainly set a standard for me clarifying what the crew from Sweden was asking for every question from that point forward.

I shared a blog post this week about using Throwback Thursday in your blog as a marketing tool. This is a terrific way to share memories and get your potential clients to think about the value of photography. It’s also a way for you to share style changes, techniques and trends in photography and position yourself as the expert.

For me, I simply love Throwback images, because there’s no such thing as just an old photograph! Every image has a story.

​So, what are yours?


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