Escape Plan

Being a staff photographer for a prestigious university in St. Louis is one of the greatest opportunities in the industry for the right kind of person.

If you’re the wrong kind of person, it’s pointless drudgery set on repeat. I was lucky enough to know two of the right people for that job. As for the wrong person, that was me.

This position at Washington University was my one and only full-time job. It started out fine, but I quickly discovered that self-employment was my destiny.

I stuck it out for a while to save some money and to figure out what I wanted to do as a photographer. During that time I did my best in the staff job but my heart wasn’t in it.

The guy I worked for was a decent enough fellow but it perturbed him that I was always “escaping” from being on hand in the studio.

A few years ago I found a blog called The New Escapeologist. I became a regular reader in short order. Late last year, the blog author made mention of a book called “Away from it all, An Escapologist’s Notebook.”

It was published in 1937 and has long been out of print. Luckily my local library was able to track down a copy.

Once I got it home and dug in, I discovered that nothing much has changed in the 80-plus years of the life of this book. Lots of people want to escape, but few make it.

Sadly, I was only the seventh person to borrow this book. Even worse, the last loan took place in 1960.

If you’re looking for an escape plan, you can find it at the library.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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