Why do I hold on to such things? I think it goes to the root of being a photographer. My theory is that at least on some level all photographers are packrats. While others (some of them anyway) allow themselves to pass through life without attachments, photographers insist on collecting little bits of what's around us to carry along through life. Books, cards, mementos, a million other things, and of course photographs of what we've seen.
Is this healthy? Perhaps not. Alec Soth has described photography as the most anti-Zen activity. Soth:
[photography] is all about stopping time, possessing things, holding onto them. And you know, if my goal was to be a healthy person, photography would not be the thing. I have this joke about becoming a binoculographer: you go around and look at the world without photographing. That would be a spiritually healthy way of taking things in. But this wanting to possess it is not so healthy.
I think he's right. I can barely walk past an interesting scene without wanting to possess it. And the urge goes beyond that, to the rest of life. Here I am dragging to my grave not only thousands of old baseball cards but a basement full of other relatively useless belongings. And that's not even dealing with the elephant in the room: My photographs! Maybe it's a healthy compulsion, maybe it isn't. But either way I'm running out of room.
Which brings me to my proposition. I've got a large stack of 5 x 7 darkroom workprints (B/W images on RC paper, generally glossy) which for one reason or another have minor issues, slightly misexposed or easels off or wrong contrast or whatever. I'm tempted to put them into storage in my basement but before I do that, I'd like to offer them up to other packrats.
I will package them up 80 unique pictures at a time and ship them anywhere in the U.S. for a nominal fee. I can't guarantee what the photos will be exactly, but I can give you my assurance you will find them interesting. I've weeded out the total losers. What's left is generally presentable enough to stick on a wall, or maybe to use as shims under a table or something. Best of all, I will top the whole thing off by including a stick of gum with the photos just like the old Topps cards of childhood. If you've ever thought about collecting stacks of small photos in your basement and dragging them to your grave, this could be the perfect opportunity!