Red Ted Travels the World

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Sometimes I think we photographers—particularly those of us who have photography as a profession—take our craft too serious. We want it to be perfect, composition has to be right, light has to be beautiful, and of course the subject has to be something that says something important about whatever we are photographing. But sometimes I think we should let down our shoulders a little and just play with our craft. Not always take everything so serious. What better then than to give yourself a project that is silly, funny and absolutely free of all pretensions. I have had such a project for many, many years. Me and my love one have a little red teddy bear, worn out, ragged and quite faded. He has been travelling with us on holidays and been photographed as a family member, whether it’s in the Eiffel tower, in the jungle of Peru or just up some mountains in our back country. I have taken Ted—as he is simply called—with me on professional assignments as well, and nothing loosens up the atmosphere as bringing Ted out and put him on a shoulder of someone I have photographed «seriously».

Here are some later photos of Ted. If you think he is fun and photogenic, you can see some older photos of him on my web site here: Red Ted.

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91 thoughts on “Red Ted Travels the World

  1. I love this! Red Ted is perfect to add that air of whimsy to your not so serious photos. If only he could talk I’m sure he would have some amazing stories to tell. Maybe he should start a blog. 😉

  2. Loosening up a bit! Nice. I think this suggestion goes for most of us. (Not only photographers…) At least grown-ups…we take everything seriously, and being a woman is even worse…Now I am so old that I sometimes succeed in letting go a bit. Feels good.

  3. Love this! Yes it is so important to have fun! There are a few Instagram accounts I follow that always have a prop like his in the photo. Is that your wife in the photos?

  4. I particularly like Red Ted in the reeds. And yes, writers do this too. We take ourselves way too seriously and forget to just have fun and enjoy our work. Love your playfulness.

  5. Love it 🙂
    And you’re completely right…….we, amateurs and professionals, can sometimes get a little wound up being Pedantic Photographers.

    (FYI I used to have a teddy bear and red frog puppet that went everywhere I worked as a ‘live-in’ children’s nanny in the UK in 1978 and here in Melbourne in the mid 1980s – sadly, they’re migrated to new pastures now).

  6. Otto, I absolutely agree with you, that sometimes we professional photographers take it too serious, I often struggle with always wanting to be 100% perfect. Thank you for your share and the fun collection of your red bear. Cornelia

  7. Red Ted’s my kinda guy…Go Ted !! I think the view from the sombrero would have been fantastic! My travelling companion is called Jack and we’ve had a few adventures too!

  8. Thanks for the early morning laugh! I recall your mentioning Red Ted before and it was nice to renew his acquaintance. He is one lucky bear to be so well traveled. Not to mention having such an excellent photographer to record his adventures!

  9. Red Ted is amazing! What a well-traveled bear. 😀 And what a wonderful, light-hearted and fun way of engaging with the people you meet on your travels.

  10. Awwe! That is adorable. What an awesome idea.
    Just got back from a long vacation, only if I had come across this post earlier. Though I think I would have had a hard time choosing from the zillion stuffed toys I have collected since forever. 🙂
    I hope I get to meet red ted someday…

  11. Love it! It is amazing how much fun it can be and how creative it can get. We used to have a little frog come with us on our camera club photo shoots but he either got stolen or jumped to another lily pad.

  12. Vilken befrielse och vilket härligt inlägg!
    Red Ted får stå som en symbol för det lekfulla och det ärliga, det oväntade och det förutsägbara…ja, kort och gott…en symbol för livet!
    En Red Ted borde alla resenärer ha:)
    Tack Otto för ett stort leende…You made my day…night:)
    Alles gut och jag hoppas att det är så, även hos dig/er.

  13. I’ve always vicariously enjoyed trips all over the world with you and Pat but I love Red Ted. May he travel with you two forever. (and he’ll keep his secrets)…Thank you for posting.

  14. There once was a sweet bear named Ted
    whose travels were all in his head.
    One day, on a whim,
    he untangled his limbs
    and opted for roadies instead.

    🙂

  15. No doubt that you have lots of fun travelling with Red Ted! And great fun to make a series of shots with your little red friend 😉

  16. “Sometimes I think we photographers—particularly those of us who have photography as a profession—take our craft too serious. We want it to be perfect, composition has to be right, light has to be beautiful, and of course the subject has to be something that says something important about whatever we are photographing. But sometimes I think we should let down our shoulders a little and just play with our craft”. – With your permission I would like to quote you in a presentation I will be doing to our camera Club shortly as I think it is completely relevant (naturally I will reference your goodself. Scott

  17. He is soooo cute, the red bear Im talking about 🙂 :). I am sure you made everybody, who looked at this post, smile – I certainly did! I agree – he should have his own website! Would follow him, too. Take care – Namaskaram from S India.

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