My Workspace: A Film Classic

With a Kodak Brownie on his desk, there's always old-school inspiration floating around for this digital-age professional.

At 17, Kevin Leonard was a budding artist with a very cool new toy.

New to him, anyway: His grandparents had used the blocky Kodak Brownie for years to capture important moments in their lives on film. When they passed it on to their grandson, Leonard began snapping family portraits, and the new hobby fueled his emerging interest in art and design.

Leonard went on to study painting at the Art Institute of Chicago, but when he broke his wrist, he took up photography “to keep artistically active,” he says.

Now, Leonard is association and nonprofit engagement manager at Breakthrough Technologies in Evanston, Illinois, where his artistic impulses find expression in the digital realm. He keeps the camera on his desk as a “constant reminder of memories and the importance of good design,” he says. And “photography still comes into play with some of the mobile apps we develop.”

The Brownie, manufactured sometime between 1946 and 1952, still works, and the film remains available today, although developing it is pricey. The device also makes an excellent instructional tool: “Because it’s such a simple camera, I used it to show my daughter how cameras work,” he says.

For the Leonard family, that makes the Brownie a four-generation memory maker.

(Courtesy Kevin Leonard)

Julie Shoop

By Julie Shoop

Julie Shoop is the Editor-in-Chief of Associations Now. MORE

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