by Skip Cohen
Not to suggest my usual throwbacks aren't qualified, but there's a difference when you're turning back the clock in your life versus 150 years ago!
This print is from some time around 1870. It's my wife's great grandparents. Sheila's grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee, and I shared her portrait in a blog post several years ago. What's interesting about this image is what was printed on the back:
"Milton Baker & Indian wife - Martha Tredway father."
The Indian wife's name was Kitty Gentry, and Martha Tredway was her daughter and Sheila's grandmother. Whoever wrote on the back of the print chose not to even mention Kitty's name! But there's more to the backstory. In later years, there was a fight between family members over how to spell "Tredway" or "Treadway." As the story goes, "Supposedly Grandma Martha has no headstone because the family couldn't agree on spelling their last name. But I'm guessing it was because they were too cheap!"
The print we have is about two inches square and was probably copied from the original, but technology is a kick. The scan came out exceptionally good with a minor tweak for sharpness in Luminar.
I've always been a fan of Throwback Thursday, but these days, looking at old photographs has become even more important to me because of the pandemic. Old photos underscore the importance of telling stories and being able to appreciate that occasional look in your rearview mirror.
It also hits hard on the responsibility you have to your clients to never compromise on an image's quality. Think about your work today and how it's going to be shared years after you're gone, or for that matter, the subject you photographed is gone. For example, Tim and Beverly Walden don't just create stunning portraits, but family heirlooms that right from the beginning are meant to be so outstanding that they're handed down from generation to generation.
Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it.
It's what a customer gets out of it.
Take the time today and wander through your old photographs. Then share them on your blog. They're the perfect marketing tool to remind your audience that it's time for a new family portrait! Just because they're hunkered down, doesn't mean the kids have stopped growing!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
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.