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Friday, July 26, 2013

Home for one of the last times....

As some of you may know, my Mother passed away a week ago last Thursday. She was perhaps my best cheerleader, telling me I could do anything I wanted to, I just had to do it. Growing up in Carthage I assumed that all breaks were received by those living elsewhere. London, New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, never in Carthage, Missouri. I was wrong but didn't realize it until I was in my 20's. I think the fact that I even entered into the photographic profession was through the encouragement I got from Mom. You can do anything you want to keep echoing through me when I started my Studio in 1972 as I was 22 and needed a job.

Over educated with a Masters in photography and film I had no choice but to do the one thing I said I would never do....open a studio. I thought it would last three or so years then I'd move on to something more interesting. My first break came when I was asked to bid on a job through Joplin Printing to photograph for a brochure they were producing for Teledyne Neosho, a rebuilder of jet engines. I was fairly sure I could do the work but had never bid on anything with that high of a billing. I walked through the factory with the designer, Rita Lopp, and I gave her some ideas and I got some from her. The shoot was scheduled to last a week and it took all of that time due to the imagery involved and the fact I was shooting with my Linholf 4 x 5 view camera. It turned out to be a fabulous time and one of the images of the gears that I shot received a first place in the Missouri Professional Photographers exposition in St. Louis.
This was my first real break.....in Carthage Missouri.

I started college as a drawing and printmaking major....destined to teach on the college level. I got really tired of the smell of ink and solvents and the time it took to produce a plate and make prints, that were personal images with not much of a commercial market. I took my first photography class from Bob Johnson, an amazing watercolorist and was hooked. However my eyes were opened by Alan Brown the following fall semester when he passed on the printing technique of multi-negitive printing on one piece of paper. New realities were ready to be created that had to be real as they were photographs...............but they were based on the reality of the mind.

I know that Mom was proud of my accomplishments, starting the business, winning awards, serving on Boards of Directors of Non Profits, going to China with Kodak in 1987, and a bit taken back when I went to Iraq before Desert Storm to get Japanese hostages, but over all was pleased with my success.  I feel certain that without her encouragement I could not have accomplished all I have.
I will try to continue sailing on the ocean of her encouragement always remembering the sweet woman she was. Margaret Lynn Speer Morgan 1921 / 2013.

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