Leslie Ann Kitten, M.Photog., Cr., CPP
American Society of Photographers
When I was a child, I collected stamps. I would gather them from a variety of people and places; most often my grandmother’s correspondence. The majority of them were cancelled, which any good collector knows reduces the value. But these cancelled stamps, these were the ones I loved the most. I would run my finger over the image, I would inspect the remnant of the envelope that became its home, and I would imagine.
Where has it been?
What has it seen?
What Wonderful stories could this tiny, perfectly scalloped piece of paper tell me. I would listen to the imagery in my head for hours.
As I put them back in the plastic sleeve, much akin to the storage I would use for color slides years later, my smile never left. Some were old, new, torn, used or commemorative. Some lived their life as support beside another, while others stood alone. But one thing was certain. When they were all together, they shined like a thousand diamonds.
Today, my collection has changed. The American Society of Photographers has a brilliance of people that also shines even brighter when together. As I look in the eyes of our members, I am able to listen to stories of the unimaginable and common place, both within our industry and in other realms of their lives.
Members lead the pack and showSupport to their friends. Some members are retired. Some have been in the photography business for less than a decade.
One thing is evident. We are stronger together. Our industry grows with us working together. Our circle of confidants and support grows when we are together.
I stopped collecting stamps in elementary school, but soon moved to something more; collecting people, memories and a tribe on which to lean.
Let’s grow our collection- we are all stronger together.