Captured Dreams: A Hasselblad Love Story

In the summer of ’85, when my photography business was finding its footing, fate intervened in the form of a chance encounter at KEH Camera Brokers. Back in those days, if you lived in the Atlanta area, you could walk into KEH and go through their bins. My heart yearned for a Hasselblad, a symbol of professionalism and artistic excellence, but my wallet whispered tales of financial strain.

A commotion at the counter caught my attention as I stood amidst the array of lenses and bodies. A man, his frustration palpable, lamented the meager offer the buyer proposed for his beloved Hasselblad kit. With lenses spread before him like treasures on display, he turned to me, a stranger, and posed an unexpected proposition.

“Would you purchase it for $1,500?” he asked, his voice desperation tinged with hope. I hesitated, torn between desire and practicality, but $1,500 was less than half of what it was all worth. My husband, sensing the gravity of the moment, nodded in silent encouragement.

“Yes,” I replied, my voice steadier than my racing heart. “But times are tough. I couldn’t afford it all at once.”

To my astonishment, he offered a lifeline. “Payments,” he suggested, a glimmer of kindness in his eyes. And so, with a handshake and exchanged numbers, a pact was made.

That Hasselblad, with its distinctive click and precision, became more than a camera. It was a beacon of possibility, a talisman of dreams yet to unfold. With each click of the shutter, my vision crystallized, and my artistry honed.

From weddings to portraits, my Hasselblad was my steadfast companion, capturing moments of joy and difficult lighting scenarios with equal grace. As my business flourished, so too did my collection of Hasselblad bodies and lenses, each a testament to the journey we had embarked upon together.

Through the decades, amidst shifts in ownership and seismic changes in technology, my allegiance remained unwavering. It was not merely a camera system but a conduit for my creativity, aspirations, and income.

Today, as I look back toward forty years of partnership with Hasselblad, I am filled with gratitude. I am grateful for the guardian angel who saw potential where others saw only uncertainty. I am grateful for the camera system that never faltered, never wavered, and always exceeded expectations: my loyal partner in the business.

So, here’s to the dreamers and the believers, the ones who dare to chase their passions against all odds. And here’s to Hasselblad, the steadfast companion on a journey of a lifetime.

darlene almeda