On Saturday, August 15th, Bud Hjerstedt passed away at age 92. Bud was the founder of Munroe Studios in Neenah, WI where I spent 14 years as an advertising commercial photographer. Those years, behind the camera at Munroe and the varied photographic experience, both shooting and experiencing first hand, the daily tasks of running a successful business has laid the foundation of what I am doing today in my own business.
My memories of Bud stopping into the studio daily to drop off the mail, and check up on all of us, are fond ones. His “old school” pioneering experience in this field was not fully appreciated by me as he often questioned my excessive use of Polaroids to secure an exposure for a set up or the amount of film I shot to get one good frame. He shared his experience as a photographer and business owner during the exciting time of transition from film to digital. In hindsight, I now know, he was right. I find myself espousing his sentiments of economy. In these modern times, I try not to overshoot just because I can. I enjoyed chatting with him about local history, travel and how things were done in “the old days”, when he was running the studio. I feel fortunate to have known Bud and I gained insight into this field, when it was a whole lot different.
A few years ago, I was generously given most all of the photography equipment from Munroe Studios as they made the full transition from doing photography to producing trade show graphics and displays. With that gift, I feel, in a small way I am carrying on Bud’s legacy as a photographer. I’m using some of the same tools he used to make his photographs. That’s cool.