It's the journey, not the destination Mel Curtis's thoughts on a life in the world of photography

It’s Just a Piece of Paper

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The events of the past few months has made me wonder the value of my work. I suppose the short answer is, whatever someone will pay for it. But can the value be quantified in mere terms of dollars and cents? There is sentimental value, there is historic value, there are kinds of ways to value things. But the flood has stirred my thoughts, and I see my work damaged and I fight with claims adjusters who want to reduce everything it simplest terms. But it is more then that, and I struggle to get to the heart of the matter.  I know it is partly about loss, and being respected and valued. But in this case, it is also specifically about the value of one’s work and how does one put a number on that? I mean if you are musician, and your favorite instrument that you had for 20 years is destroyed in a flood like mine, and what if it was of no particular great lineage, but it was that special thing that helped give your life meaning… Can it be replaced with just another instrument, minus depreciation? I know the answer, we live in a world where everything has to be quantified, commoditized or in my case, reduced to a pile of paper.

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