This is one of those blog posts. The type where I talk about something that is hugely important to me and it sounds like I’m a ranting crazy person. But I’m not. Really.
I want to talk about the dying art of the tangible. Yes, I am aware of how dramatic that sounded. It is dramatic I tell you.
First of all, you should know a bit about me as a person. I am that parent that insists my children read classic literature. From a BOOK. The kind you hold in your hand. I’m sorry, did that have tone? I really am trying not to sound the least bit snarky in this post… my close friends out here in Florida call me a ‘California snob’. I’m pretty sure they even hashtagged it at one point. It’s not really fair at all, and poor California is coming under attack for little to no reason. It all comes from their confusion on my insistance of Trader Joe’s over Publix, Sub Culture and Starbucks over Dunkin Donuts (What?!?! How is this even compared??) fine art museums in West Palm Beach and the Miami City Ballet. I have a deep love for people doing what they do really, really well. I appreciate quality. Even to the point of wanting my kids to understand what reading from a book feels like (as the author imagined) over that handy dandy tablet. Ehem. I want them to love the smell of old books. I am one of those people that think the experience of something is just as important as the ‘something’ itself.
Now before you write me off and think my family lives in a cave, I must say, we love technology. The things that are at one’s finger tips in this day and age are astounding. What do you want to learn? It’s at your fingertips. Anything at all. When I started digging into photography at a young age I had to check out photography textbooks from the library that weighed more than I did and go page by page trying to understand words and terms that were completely foreign to me. I had to keep a notebook with my camera to write down what my settings were for each individual frame of film, as well as what the shooting conditions looked like. I did this so that when I developed my film and my frame was completely over exposed I could go back to my little notebook and try to learn what I did wrong. Today, when someone wants to learn more about photography, You Tube is usually their first stop where you can find 7000 videos on understanding f-stop alone. You can see your camera settings and the finished photo on the back of your camera instantly and make adjustments. Learning in real time. In my mind, this is a beautiful and powerful thing.
However, everything in balance.
Here is my issue and what I want to talk about. In the midst of instant and digital at our fingertips, I believe it’s easy to lose sight of quality tangible things. We are so focused on ‘getting the digitals’ that we might miss what we’re going to do with them. I often say an image is only as beautiful as its final print. Quality fine art or editorial photography is NOT meant to be displayed on Facebook. Sadly I think we live in a generation that we can easily lose sight of the importance of creating quality things verses getting that profile picture updated.
Now again, I love a good profile picture with the rest of them. I want your Facebook photos to look cute too, I promise. But if all you’re doing with your images is putting them in digital venues or sticking them on a hard drive in a drawer, you’re missing the most amazing part of photography. To hold a beautifully printed image is an incredible thing. To have your friends walk in your home and see your favorite portrait of yourselves on your wedding day framed beautifully on your wall, it starts a conversation. You get to relive a moment and an emotion, it’s what creating images is about.
I often get asked by my brides my option of wedding albums. When budget is an issue, it is a valid question to ask “do I really need a wedding album?” My answers is yes, yes, yes.
Now the problem is that I’m the photographer so it might appear that I want you to buy an album from my studio, I get that. I dislike that immensely, but it goes with the territory. The reality is that I’m passionate about people having a genuine piece of art from the most important day of their lives. Your wedding photography is not just about you, it’s about the generations that come after you.
A wedding album is a story book of your love, and your day. The way I (and most of my photographer friends) design wedding albums is that I’m designing by ‘moments’. I’m taking a significant moment and I’m making a fine art spread out of it. When you turn the pages of your wedding album, you should gasp, laugh, and cry. Not for any other reason but that the images bring you back to that moment, that emotion, that part of your story. You should be enjoying the experience of what your wedding was and what your love story continues to be.
My husband laughs at me because I am so obsessed with my beautifully crafted books. I literally smell them (you should try it sometime, they smell amazing) and demand total silence from the family as I relive my client’s wedding day through their album, whenever one has been delivered. My Graphi Studio albums are handmade and once I have finished the design and they have everything they need, it takes them 4-5 weeks to actually make the album and only 2 days to get it to me (from Italy). That is quality craftsmanship. It deserves a moment of silence, don’t you think? 😉
The last thing I’ll say is this. My grandmother passed away last year around this time. I have had the opportunity many times to sift through boxes and boxes of images of her life. She was a photographer and we loved looking through pictures together. I learned so much about her through listening to her stories sparked by a print in her hand. Her prints have always been precious to me, but after she passed away, the value went much, much higher.
I’ve read articles calling this generation the “forgotten generation” in the photography world. Because even though this is BY FAR the most photographed generation, it’s also BY FAR the least printed generation. I know it seems crazy guys, but I promise, someday Facebook won’t exist. I cringe to think about the future generations looking through hard drives and trying to get dated technology to work to find images of the people they care about.
So, after all that crazy person ranting, I will end with this. When you choose my studio for photography, whether it’s for your wedding day or family pictures, I will be passionate about tangible images. Wedding albums or printed images, there is a reason that every single package we offer comes with a tangible something. It’s a legacy, and I promise it’s something that you will treasure for a really long time. AND, of course, you can get that new profile pic. 😉 As long as you remember, #youcanthangdigitalonthewall 🙂