Return to Sender

When I wrap a session, it’s my habit to create a backup. Actually, it’s a third copy. All the pictures reside natively on the SD cards from the cameras. That’s copy one. Then the images are duped to my laptop. That’s number two. Before I leave the location, I will again copy all of the files to a separate SD card for the third version.

This is a belt, suspenders and super glue approach, if you know what I mean.

The SD card is tiny little thing. It’s thin too. That makes it the perfect size to drop into an envelope for mailing home. That’s exactly what I do with the third copy. It’s put into a sealed envelope for the subject to drop it in the mail the next day.

Out of the hundreds of times I’ve done this, only one didn’t return home. I suspect it was lost in the mail. Luckily, I’ve never needed the backup.

There was one time that I got something better in return. It happened this week. West Virginia artist Robert Villamagna turned this pedestrian envelope into a work of art.

Turning found objects into something new is the heart and soul of Robert’s art. To be part of it is a real joy.

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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