Did you know May is National Photo Month? I didn’t know until this week. How did I find out? QVC was using the opportunity to sell more cameras. It makes sense, photography has been the #1 hobby in our country since the 90’s. In the 90’s and prior to that, anyone with a SLR camera, had a bit of a mystique to them.  For the most part, people with nice cameras knew how make photographs with their cameras and had an understanding of what photography was and how it worked.

Black and White Vintage Photograph with Large format camera
Professional Portrait Photographer

Are you making photographs or just experiencing virtual photography? Unless you are a photographer by trade or an artist, I am betting you are what I call a virtual photographer.

The definition of photography that I  like best, “is creating an image with light.”  Millions of people take pictures and don’t even know that. The light doesn’t matter. “Virtual Photographer’s, ” as I call and define them seem to think photography is “the act of pushing a button to make and record what they see.”  Nothing tangible, just a snap, possibly a share and then forgotten.

Prior to the new millennium, the average person didn’t even try to take a photo. And it wasn’t really their fault, there was no instant gratification. They were snapping a photo with a hope and prayer that it would look good; that they didn’t cut someone’s head off and hopefully not discover their thumb in front of the lens. Now those same people can take photo snaps the same way they did before and know immediately that they cut a head off and quickly re-snap. 

 

I know YOU virtual photographer’s can do better.

In the past,  photos were sent off (when I was a wedding photographer I literally had to wait 2 weeks to see how my film photos came out…. Stressful) Some people couldn’t stand to wait and would go to a “photo matt” or a one hour photo lab. But even then, the moment’s they were trying to capture had passed by and there was no way for a do over if the pictures, “didn’t turn out,” as they used to say.

Things have changed, we have 2 different groups of people. The people with the fancy cameras and the cell phone snapper. There is also some overlap, some people have a nice camera but choose to only snap photos on their phone.  

While we are going to get into more specialized photography in the rest of May with guest photographers, today is all about the basics…. I want you to think about what a photo means to you?  And are the pictures you capture important? And if so, how many did you actually print in the last year.

In 2015 nearly a trillion photographs were taken with nearly 80% captured on a cell phone. WOW! And the majority were not printed.  It is predicted nearly 5 Trillion photos will be stored somewhere by 2017. Cool graph info here. And the majority haven’t and never will be printed.

Photography used to be a physical  thing. Even for the person who only got the camera out at Christmas, the roll of film was touched between the fingers, loaded in the camera and then taken out. The majority of people would take their film out to be “developed or processed.” Sounds so fancy now. And then they made prints, many times, “doubles.” One for you and one for me.

We had a physical piece of the moment to hopefully put in an album, or in a frame. And baby boomers that have a drawer full of photographs in a lab envelope that were never looked at again, don’t feel bad, you are doing better than this generation and BONUS, you most likely have the negatives with them. Where are your photos? What are you doing with them? Do you have a back up copy?  If you are not printing your photographs, I say, you don’t really have ANY photos!

Your CHALLENGE, go to your big box store and spend 20 minutes plugging your phone into the mini lab. Pick the images you want and print them. This Weekend!  Delete the ones you didn’t print and back up the ones you did when you get home. And please go over and like Facebook Page where all of the interaction will be this month, including “call outs,” where you can share a photo with everyone. To not miss anything on facebook, you will want to do 3 steps, LIKE, Hover over the arrow and click SEE FIRST and then Notifications ON. I don’t want you to miss out.

I can help you take less shots in the future, not have less moments, but take less shots down the road with some tips. But for NOW, we will deal with what we have. And if you don’t want to miss a blog post, subscribe by email in the upper right hand corner of this page.

 

2 Comments

  • Nice article, Molly. I didn’t realize this was National Photo Month – thanks for the tip! I, too, love printed photos. While I am not a professional photographer, I have been taking photos for many years – mostly with my cameras, but also with my phone. I literally take hundreds of photos a day, and have at least one camera with me at all times. You never know when you’ll see something that captures your imagination! I use both digital and print cameras, and print the digital photos that are my favorites. I also take the time to write on the backs of each print photo – the date, where the photo was taken, who was in the photo, and often times even why I took the photo. It’s a lot of work to document these photos, but hopefully someone will appreciate this effort after I’m gone. My photos mean so much to me – I actually have a separate room in our house to store my prints and negatives, to ensure nothing will happen to them in case of a fire or other catastrophe. I frame many of my photos, and change them out periodically. Other photos are in albums, and other photos are stored in archival boxes. Digital photos are our screen-savers on our television and computers. When guests visit, there are always slideshows of these photos running, and the photos are ever-changing.

    I look forward to following your articles this month!

    • mowphoto@aol.com

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments JD, I appreciate your taking the time to share how you take care, store and use your photographs. Very helpful.

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