A Former Goldman Heavy-Hitter Rediscovered His 20s After Finding Gorgeous Photos In His Attic

Cat's Christmas

Photo: Scott Mead Photography

A few years after leaving Wall Street, Scott Mead, a former top Goldman Sachs investment banker, made a remarkable discovery while moving some boxes from his attic.Or rediscovery, that is. 

Mead, who is known for advising Vodafone’s nearly $200 billion takeover of Mannesmann, brought down boxes of old his photographs, negatives and cameras that had not been touched in years.

“I was aware it was sort of the physical baggage–the physical manifestation of some baggage we all park in our brains.  So I brought these down just partly out of curiosity, partly for some inexplicable reason.”

He described this rediscovery process to us as “the most overwhelming experience.” 

Click here to see his photos >

“It was like travelling back in time,” he explained adding that it was like “getting to know another person.” 

Mead, who grew up passionate about photography, spent the next year educating himself again and editing and printing these photos he had taken more than 30 years ago.  

“Since then, it has been a really amazing journey — exhilarating, humbling and everything in between.” 

Eighteen months after bringing those boxes down, he put on an exhibition from several of the 8×10 negatives he found and printed called “Looking Back” at London’s Hamilton Gallery.

Since then, he has done a number of exhibitions. Of the photographs he sells, 100% of the proceeds go to charity.

Mead has kindly shared some of the photos from his “Looking Back” portfolio with us in the slides that follow.

A few things you should know about the collection before you see them — The reason the images in this portfolio are round is because that’s the way the human eye sees the world, Mead explained.

This technique brings the viewer back to a more authentic perception of what an eye, or in this case the camera lens, sees.  The black around it, particularly with the portraits, helps create a framing, highlighting the centre of the compositions, he told us.  

Mead told us he first started taking photos at age 13 when he was given a press camera by his grandfather, who was a press photographer and journalist.  

From there, he taught himself how to develop photographs and spent a huge amount of time in his parents’ basement.  

He was so enthusiastic about photography, that he studied it in high school and in college.  He focused on photography intensively until his 20s.  

When he began his 22-year investment banking career, photography eventually moved to the back-burner.

That being said, one of the key messages from his work is to highlight these beautiful moments that we might otherwise miss in our extremely busy lives.

“They are about finding what are ordinary places, times of day, patterns of light or shapes which we often overlook in the day to day of all of our busy lives and making them special through composition, print quality and balance—and hopefully conveying a sense of tranquility and peace,” he told Business Insider.

First, let's meet our photographer, Scott Mead.

Here's a more recent photo of him. Amazing, right?

Apple Tree, 1974

Cat's Christmas, 1976

Choices, 1976

Dancing Trees, 1975

Evening Light, 1975

Empty Church, 1975

Maine Rocks, 1974

Out My Window, 1976

Two Trees, 1975

Waiting, 1974

What Happened Next, 1976

Want to see some other Wall Street photography?

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