A Fresh Start

Stephen Szurley, Golf Digest MagazineA new beginning.  A fresh start.  Out with the old.  In with the new.

You’ve heard the sayings…  I have too.  I didn’t know what it meant until I burned or trashed photos from the 2001 Super Bowl that I photographed in Tampa.  The spring training baseball games I photographed in Lakeland, Tampa and Kissimmee for a stock agency, for free…  The PGA Tournaments in Orlando.  The Orlando Magic games I photographed.  The Footvolley event I photographed in Miami for ESPN the Magazine.  The outdoor bowling I photographed in the Villages for Sports Illustrated.  Stock golf photos of my buddy Casey Bourque.  A waterskiing event in Orlando.   A women’s soccer match in Philly with Brandi Chastain and Mia Hamm.  Bucs Games.  Eddie Adams Workshop. slides.

I threw it out.  Or, I watched it burn.

It’s sitting on the curb right now actually… there’s still time.  I could go out and save it, but I’m not going to.

It feels good.

A lobster sheds its skin.  So does a snake.  So does a photographer.

I noticed slides from a Golf Magazine assignment from a while ago.   I sucked.  It was to photograph Australian PGA Tour players Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby.  I was probably 23 years old.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Allenby and Appleby are best of friends.  They’re Australian and play on the PGA Tour together.  After their practice round at Bay Hill, I photographed them sitting in chairs alongside of the 18th hole.  My punk 23 year old ass said, ” the editors said you’re best friends, I need some funny photos of you two together”  Allenby responded, “we’re friends mate, not lovers.”

I only saved my favorites.

I’m growing as a photographer.   It’s time to let go of the past.  I saved my selects.  But the rest will be picked up in the trash pile tomorrow, before you read this.

I had several boxes sitting in a closet for 10 years.  Some were older.

I found (and kept) a cherished photo of myself and Golf Digest Senior Staff Photographer Stephen Szurley from the 1997 Doral Ryder Cup PGA Tournament.  After graduating from Hallmark Institute in 1996, I cold called the Golf Digest magazine in late 1996 and told them I was visiting a friend in Lakeland, Florida during the Florida PGA swing.  A gentleman answered, took my name and phone number, and said that if any of their photographers needed help, they’d contact me. I was 19.   I wasn’t expecting a phone call.  This was before cell phones.  The number I left him was for my parents.  While in Lakeland, my parents called me.  Said a Golf Digest photographer called, his name was Stephen “Girley, Murley, Zurly or Turly, and he needed a hand in Miami for the PGA tournament.”  I had the time of my life.  Not only did I see my first Canon 600 f4, but I carried it like my life depended on it for several days.  Tiger Woods’ caddy told me to be steady.  Mr. Szurley introduced me to his friends, including Jacueline Duvoisin, who really liked my name.

My stack of photos was like a diary.  Photos of Joe Paterno, Kerry Collins, motorcycle racing, fishing in Maine, July 4th fireworks in Philadelphia and field hockey at Princeton, just to name a few others.

You have a few hours to pick them up on the curb, if you’re interested!

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