The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Remembering Paul

I met Paul Conlan in 2008 when I was in my first SlowExposures exhibit. He was a volunteer with the event as well as a photographer who had work in the show. I learned that he had work in the show consistently. I was thrilled to have two photos selected that year.

SlowExposures takes place over two weekends in September. We just completed the first weekend. Next weekend the show will close.

I remember the closing Sunday in 2008. I came late in the day so I could hang out for a little while and would take my work home with me at the end of the day. Paul was there. Paul was on hand a lot during the show. He and I had a chance to talk quite a bit that late afternoon. We talked about his photos in the show and my photos in the show. He was genuinely nice and encouraging to me to continue to show my photographs. He offered to come give a talk to my photo group.

This year at the show I miss seeing Paul. I keep thinking I will look around and he will be there making a funny remark about one of my photos. But Paul is not there. Paul passed away last spring. His absence is felt by all who knew him. He had been a mainstay for SlowExposures for years.  What has brought a bit of comfort to many of us who knew him is the Paul Conlan Retrospective exhibit. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to talk with Paul's wife for a few minutes. His daughter and grandson were also there. The exhibit of his photos are memories for all of us. We walk by photos and say, "there, that was first place the year I first entered the show," and "that photo won the year Strickland's was under renovation and the show was at the airport."

I am positive that Paul would be happy as a clam that he had such an exhibit, during SlowExposures, in the Strickland Building, side-by-side with the main SlowExposures show. People were buying his prints and framed images on Sunday and all of them spoke of him, his work, and how they remember him. This has been a great tribute to a great photographer and friend.

Next Sunday (September 29), at the close of the show, friends and family will gather to remember Paul. I will certainly remember the closing Sunday from 6 years ago. If anyone reading this remembers Paul or just loves his photography -- please come to SlowExposures at 5pm to be part of this celebration of a wonderful photographer.

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