As I write today's post, I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what I'm even going to use for the title and you'll understand in a second. The issue is people who want to challenge all the imperfections in what's simply an imperfect world.
Like the jeweler on the left, too often we get off on a tangent and over-analyze. We see it all the time, especially on Facebook with image critiques. I remember Bambi Cantrell talking about one of her images in a workshop once that was far from perfect, but the expression on the subject's face was priceless...she simply said, "Expression over perfection!"
Yesterday I wanted to share what's become a growing series of ideas to help photographers sell more prints. Michele Celentano started the thought process for me over a year ago when I first heard her read, "I Believe". She added to it in her webcast on "Mind Your Own Business". Bryan Caporicci added to it, telling me his story about using floppy disks to make his point about the importance of printed images. Like Michele, he added to it with a one minute video that does an outstanding job of making the point. Then I added my own twist with a beautifully framed jump drive.
In one of the forums the response I got was a rant; then accusations of suggesting to people they use scare tactics; an argument over the likelihood that technology would ever change so much that digital image storage would be a problem and the list went on and on. I apologize for taking things out of context here, but it's only to make the point.
My post was never meant to be anything but give photographers some new ideas on how to sell prints in our digital world. It was just a few creative ideas to help you remind clients of the importance of an album and prints.
It's the perfect time to bring back my annual sharing of "Live Forever." For those of you who want to criticize the quality of the piece, you're really missing the point. It's on YouTube and it's my favorite video of all time about photography. It's a classic and makes an amazing point about photography. This is the best copy I've been able to find.
Here's the point I think photographers should be thinking about. As an industry we've done a terrible job educating consumers on the importance of BOTH digital files and prints. There's plenty of room for both and they serve totally different purposes.
First, technology does change. As I responded in one of my comments yesterday...
"Tell me what to do with my 8 track tapes...then tell me what to do with my tape cassettes - we have two cars and neither support all the cassettes I recorded making my own mixes in the 90's. In fact, the other day I found a cassette recording of my daughter, now almost 40, singing a solo at a concert in high school, but I have nothing to play it on...and what would you do with a floppy disk?"
Second, photographs, when printed, create an experience for the viewer. I used my own Dad as an example...
"My dad is 92...my mother died over a year ago and his most prized possessions are his albums. He'll look at images from 75 years ago with the same joy as prints of our family last year. His fridge is covered with images of his grandchildren and family events. His computer is five years old and he hasn't been able to find his images since his first laptop 15 years ago."
This isn't meant to sound like a rant, nor is it intended to be accusatory or an apology...it's just a statement about the frustration of things being over-analyzed here and there. Everybody has a right to their opinion, but I'm amazed at the extent to which some people want to keep going to make their point.
Wishing everybody a wonderful weekend and the kind of days you can just kick back and enjoy your family and friends and a few good hugs here and there!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.