Monday, May 12, 2014

Richard Turner: A Lawyer Turned Photographer

Image from
At Sac State, I was able to listen to a lecture by one of the most interesting artists with the funniest 'origin story' that I have ever heard. Richard Turner had been a lawyer for 50 years when he decided that he needed a break. He said that he told his wife "I'll be back in a month," then took off in his car with no particular plans in mind. Along the way, he picked up a disposable camera, figuring that it might be good to have photos to looks at after he came back home. While he was out travelling, he came across a great, majestic moose in a lake, minding it's own business. Richard felt compelled to take pictures of the beast, of course.

After he had come back from his trip, he showed some of his photos to a professional photographer that he knew. The photographer looked at them and proclaimed them terrible, touristy photos. I believe it was the same photographer that Richard asked to teach him how to be a better photographer. The man declined, saying that he didn't teach one-on-one. Richard, being a fairly wealthy lawyer at the time, made the photographer an offer he couldn't refuse. Mostly because it wsa a tremendous amount of money. Richard was a well-known, expensive lawyer who had a good history, so his rates were very high. He told the photographer that he would pay him the same amount that he, Richard, made in an hour. The photographer happily accepted Richard's offer.

Richard had spent 50 years as a lawyer. It wasn't until he discovered photography that he felt like he was really having fun with life. His overarching theme can be summed up by the question he began his talk with:
Are we going to survive? 
Or are we going to appreciate the time we have now and make the most of it?

No comments:

Post a Comment