One of my mother’s legacies is definitely that she taught me to have pride in everything I do, whether it was doing the laundry or managing a career. I’ve lived my life that way, in the same manner that she set the example for me to follow. One of the reasons I have a fascination with old architecture, vintage furnishings, wood boats or canoes, or anything that has been made by hand is simply that I understand and appreciate the work and effort — and often love — that went into those creations.
On a recent photo shoot, I was thrilled to see how the client’s barn, built in the early 1920’s was still standing and being kept in such fine condition, despite not having been used for decades. As with so many things built back then, it was erected by men who took pride in what they were doing and how they were doing it. It had to last because that building is what their life and income depended upon. Two buggies, one a going-to-town democrat and one a work wagon were positioned prominently beside that old red barn. I was informed that my client’s uncle had built both of them recently, fashioned after some parts he found on the old farm. When you look closely, the workmanship is flawless, the materials nothing but the best (intended for longevity), and the finishing shines just as the love he smoothed into it as he worked on those beautiful horse drawn buggies.
As some of you are aware, in recent months I’ve had to make some major changes with respect to the printing of the images that I have reproduced for my clients. I won’t rehash all the problems but they all relate to a lack of pride in workmanship — not on my part. As much as I enjoy the process of taking photographs, I glean even more pride when the final image is produced for presentation for my clients’ walls or coffee tables. Ultimately I found it necessary to send all my images out to a US-based printing partner, even though it means I’m paying more due to the added exchange on the dollar plus higher shipping costs. This is a partnership that I can see being long term and the reason is pride in workmanship. I am so pleased with the quality of product being returned to me from this printer and consistently so. They actually care about the quality of what they produce so I can, in turn, feel the pride I expect to feel when I deliver the final product to my clients. I am so glad I found a company that shares such a strong sense of professionalism.
Why don’t people teach pride of workmanship anymore? Why does it have to be a rare thing to experience or find?