Professional Commercial Photography Service
Transcript of Professional Commercial Photography Service
The journey to the absolute height of one's life-affirming passion is often paved with the most humble of beginnings, and in the case of the journey of photographer Eric Crossan, the journey that led him to photograph a President of the United States began with a discarded negative contact printer, left for the junk man.
When he was in junior high school, the 13-year-old happened to see a neighbor from the bedroom window of his Newark home. "He was getting ready to discard this old negative contact printer," Crossan said recently in his Townsend studio. "Instead of letting it sit in the trash, I asked him if it was OK for me to play around with it. My father helped me set it up in the bathroom, and gave me some old negatives to use. That was really all I needed. I was on my way from there."
There is no better way to take in the more than 40 years Crossan has devoted to his work than to listen to it all unravel, experience by experience, like sitting down with a catalog of photos of a family, for instance, and admiring the changing faces. Yes, the photographs on the studio walls serve as a gentle reminder of what has made Crossan one of the most prominent photographers in Delaware, with more than 800 magazine covers to his name and assignments that have taken him around the world. But it's the stories that tell everything. The White House. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. The Queen of Sweden. The famous and the obscure.
But before all of that, there was the rescued negative contact printer, a project he discarded by the time he was 14, when he went to work for the Newark Weekly Post, where he made $3 for every published photo. As a high-school senior, at a time when his classmates were attending dances and parties, Crossan was working for the Delaware bureau of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
For ten years, Crossan photographed the Common Wealth Awards at the Hotel duPont in Wilmington, given annually in honor of achievement in the dramatic arts, literature, science and invention, mass communication, public service, and government and sociology. Each year, celebrities such as Jane
Fonda, Ted Turner, Larry King and Henry Kissinger would parade by Crossan as he worked. The hotel continued to serve as a good luck charm for stories; at a fundraiser there in 2006, Crossan found himself for a brief moment at the conclusion of a reception line that was dotted with dignitaries. He looked up from his camera. In front of him stood George H.W. Bush, the 42nd President of the United States, standing alone, about to join the contingent.
For the last 40 years, Crossan has had what he believes is the greatest job in the world -- the gift to tell the stories of people and places and events. They're there on the coffee table in his Townsend studio, the rich catalog of his experience behind the lens. He no longer devotes his energies to climbing to the very top of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, but his passion for the craft of his profession has not wavered.
Lately, he's been taking a lot of family and individual portraits, as well as aerial shots of homes and farms taken from a helicopter.