This afternoon, I called Paul C. Buff, Inc. because I had to send in one of my Einstein strobes for repair due to negligent (though expected) airline handling of my lighting gear case. After a few minutes of chatting regarding my busted strobe, I happened onto the Buff website to research some pricing on additional gear I may procure before summer. That's when I saw that he had died, apparently over the weekend. I asked the repair rep what had happened, and we ended up discussing Mr. Buff for a further 25 minutes.
I never met Paul Buff, but I, like so many other photographers, felt like I knew him. If you took even a brief moment to read a little about Paul C. Buff, Inc., you would discover the real Paul Buff was a beautifully kind and charismatic individual, full of color and energy both in his hair and in his amazing history.
Heck, when I found out Buff had spent ages in music, I grew even closer to him as I spent an inordinate amount of time in the music world as well.
But most of us knew Paul Buff as the bossman of what many will argue is the photography gear company with the absolute best customer service on the planet. Not to mention the best lighting gear for the money, hands down. Never cheap or dismissible, but never overpriced, Buff strobes are used by tens of thousands of photographers of all experience levels across North America.
So, it's with a heavy heart that I have to inform Fstoppers readers that Paul C. Buff has, in fact, died at the age of 78 years old. His obituary, written by his wife Deborah, can be viewed here. The company tells me they will carry on doing business the way Buff insisted, and honor his vision and business practices even though he has passed on.
Much respect, Mr. Buff.