The Susan Parish Collection of Photography

Preserving & Celebrating the Photography & Photographers of the Pacific Northwest since 1982

MAY 27TH, 2021
   photographers - with the exception of a few (from California and back east) rarely receive their deserved credit.  Even Edward S. Curtis, the original Shadow Catcher - didn't receive what he rightly deserved for his extraordinary accomplishments during his lifetime. His photographs now demand high prices, is the subjects of hundreds of books.  people made and make money from his art.  But, he died alone, and poor.  Why, is this?  What do those who obviously value the photograph - for its beauty or its history - refuse to give credit where credit is due?
   IS IT because MANY OF THEM 'WERE COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS' AND NOT JUST MAKING 'ART FOR ART'S SAKE?" i FOR ONE HAVE NOT HAD THAT LUXERY AS A WORKING PHOTOGRAPHER TRYING TO DO WHAT i LOVED AND ALSO MAKE A LIVING.  all Those photographers and I had/have businesses in photography.
   My truth, the way I was raised - is to give credit where credit is due and I believe that anyone or any agency that doesn't do this - has an egotistical ulterior motivation. Photographers studied their art and craft, they worked hard and it was not easy to make them as today. They were also small business people in their communities - as I am - and to take their work and use them without credit - is to devalue them and our precious snapshots of time and history - I can't abide that.
   This is sadly very true of my home area.  even though the photographers were honored during their own time period and considered great artists by others. What is shown in publications, etc. credit is often left off.... Is it the Ego of the usurper?
   WHAT ARE THE POLITICS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC TRUTH?
   I approach photographs and photography differently than historians or archivists because my background is primarily in communications ~ visual communications - with additional professional education and experience in the humanities and history of the Pacific Northwest. I consider what I do still as photo-journalism - and, my specialty is the past. These people these places really existed. And, I strive to protect photographic history and honor the photographers.
   Ken Burns films have shown us all the value of our 'visual history'. Photographers show us reality and we need that, now more than ever. Finally, our public education is changing and finally becoming more inclusive. We know that what was and is 'written' both in the past and now is often distorted and slanted to favor certain people and ignore or degrade others. Reality with an agenda. Historical photographs change all that and reveal the truth of history. 
   What would we know about time past and its people ~ without photographs of that past? Only what some wanted us to believe. We've seen how dangerous that can become.  Every picture actually tells a myriad of stories. And, may answer questions we have not yet asked.
earlier posts coming online soon.....
Back to Top