When I started the E-Photo Newsletter 9-1/2 years ago, it was simply to answer questions more efficiently from a few hundred friends and clients who hadn't attended the record-breaking Southworth and Hawes sale at Sotheby's in April 1999. With this issue the newsletter has reached another milestone: its 150th issue; and now it has grown to over 5,000 readers who receive it directly, plus another 5,000-10,000 pass-along and website readers. That makes it the most read form of communication in the photography collecting community. Also, perhaps the most debated.
Soon the newsletter will be ten years old, but it still serves the same purpose: to keep in touch with my many friends and clients and to supply them with news and information about photography collecting and its market. My intent with the newsletter has always been to educate collectors, dealers, consultants and curators so that you get to understand photography and the marketplace in order to make better decisions about your own collecting and to continue to grow in your enjoyment and appreciation of this fascinating art form.
As you can probably tell through these newsletters, I am passionate about several things: photography as an art form and keeping the collecting community that we have as safe as possible through open and--hopefully--honest and fair communication. We all have a role in nurturing that sense of community and openness, and I take mine seriously, even if I add a balancing dollop of humor.
It's pretty easy to realize that I don't always please everyone all the time. My sense of humor and self-righteousness don't always appeal to everyone who reads my articles, so often I use other writers to contribute to our coverage. Of course, not everyone finds those writers to their taste as well. Such is life. But the critical emails are important because they always give you a better sense of balance and reveal other sides to issues and stories that you might have missed; so please feel free to fire away. And I always make corrections in the online version and in future newsletters when I feel that the facts warrant it.
If you have any ideas for articles, please forward them on to us. I am always looking for new ideas to help our readers.
Of course, hearing a little applause from those who email it in doesn't hurt either. When you are just typing away at a computer, it's nice to know if anyone really cares or not about what you are trying to do. Virtual isolation does have its costs.
While I attempt to be balanced and fair about reporting on news, I still make a living buying and selling photography, so I am ever hopeful that you will patronize the I Photo Central website and its photography dealers, including myself, of course. Buying photographs, as I have noted below, is not a very bad idea at all in this strange economic environment.
And thanks for reading and putting up with my quirks and run-on paragraphs.