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Akord Stories

Preserving Photography: Brendan Flesher

Muhammad Ahmed
Muhammad Ahmed
9 Nov 2023 · 3 min


If you're a photographer, deciding how to share your images can deeply influence your creative choices. This becomes even more profound when reflecting on one's legacy and the permanence of your work.

In this article, we highlight Brendan Flesher, who is dedicated to preserving not only his photographs but also those of other photographers that otherwise would’ve remained unnoticed or lost forever.

He's explored various methods of safeguarding his photographs and ultimately selected Akord to ensure their longevity.

Brendan’s Background

From the scenic town of Paradise, Brendan's passions always gravitated towards history and photography. Inside his home, he kept a treasure trove of images, including 150 years’ worth of family photographs.

Yet, in 2018, a wildfire devastated Paradise, erasing 95% of the town. With it, Brendan’s cherished collection was lost, and a significant portion of local history vanished alongside.

Recognizing the need to preserve local histories, Brendan began photographing other towns at risk of wildfires, only to see them suffer the same fate as his hometown.

He also started to look into different ways to store his photographs in a safe manner.

Preservation through Akord

Akord is a platform that allows photographers like Brendan to preserve their work for at least the next 200 years.

Some people want their images to be seen by everybody. Some people don’t want a single negative to be seen by the public.

Brendan Flesher

How creatives choose to safeguard their photos is a personal decision, and Akord empowers them to do it privately or publicly.

Users have the option to share their work through our public blockchain vaults if they want to display their work. Alternatively, for those seeking more privacy, our private blockchain vaults allow them to create their own personal archive protected with end-to-end encryption.

Rest assured, whether they use a public or a private blockchain vault, their work will be preserved in its original form for at least the next 200 years.

Saving the work of others

One such photographer that Brendan discovered was Gary, an extremely talented Bay Area photographer whose work spanned from the 1960s to the 2010s. If you’d like to explore Gary’s captivating landscape and photojournalism work, you can do so in the video below.

But how did Brendan stumble upon Gary's work?

Brendan is always on the lookout for auctions or dark rooms, a habit developed from his understanding that such sales often signify the potential disposal of invaluable photos. These range from fully developed images to expired film still waiting to see the light of day.

Tragically, after Gary's passing, his lifetime of photography – the dark room equipment, negatives, and films – was inherited by a home flipper who acquired Gary's property. This individual, seeing no use in Gary's collection, listed the dark room for sale.

Had Brendan not intervened, these unique images might have been discarded, forever denying the world the brilliance of a gifted photographer.

On Akord, Brendan has curated a public vault, exhibiting the work of photographers he's come across. Feel free to dive into the collection here.

Maybe this is how it starts?

We hope others find inspiration in Brendan's efforts. He’s not only preserving his own photography, but also saving local histories and rescuing the legacies of photographers that could have easily been lost.

If you'd like to hear more about Brendan's mission and stories of preservation, he was recently featured on the 'Forever Stories' podcast, which you can listen to here.

Sometimes it feels like we’re just waiting for the rest of the world to realize that the clock is ticking and that precious images and memories are in danger of disappearing. But maybe this is just how it starts, with a few people like Brendan using their own time and resources to preserve these smaller historical archives.

Ty Kroh, Forever Stories

In the past decade or so, it was cost prohibitive for an individual to archive in a digital way that would ensure the quality and safety of photos. Thanks to platforms like Akord, digital preservation is now cost-effective and within reach.

If you’re a creative who is looking into preserving their work, create your first vault today and get started on your preservation journey.

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