Who would have predicted
the growing new interest by consumers in 'real photo
paper'. As families spend more time at home together,
lasting life memories are gaining value when compared
to past technologies that offer
temporary, instant gratification.
In a recent Wired Magazine issue, Steven Levy wrote,
"When technology that once astonished us becomes common,
gadgets start to seem less compelling." Digital gadgets,
once defined by innovation, are now taking on a reputation
of quick obsolescence and instantly declining value.
During his sales consultations, one of our lab's professional
photographers asks his customers this
great question, "what else can you buy today that
appreciates in value and as time goes by, becomes
priceless?" He of course, was
referring to his studio's wall
portraits and real photo keepsake books of children who are
A couple of years ago during the wildfires in California, I
saw a TV reporter interviewing a family who had been told
the night before, that they had 10 minutes to grab what they
could and leave their home. When the mother was asked what
she did, she told her husband to get their sons, the dog,
and their insurance papers. I couldn't help but notice what
she grabbed. Under one arm was her framed
family portrait and in the other was her wedding album.
Sadly, current brides who are subscribing to the services of
so-called 'shoot and burn' photographers probably won't be
able to find their CD or even remember their wedding images
that are somewhere on their computer.
Last fall, a sales rep from Noritsu visited with me here at
the lab. During our discussion, he asked where to go to
have a book of family pictures for his wife that was "not
like the ones from a retailer on cheap paper".
Instead he wanted one made with what he called "real
pictures". I asked if he'd checked online and he said that
he really didn't know the
words to type in to Google to find such a book. This
discussion is what prompted me to try and figure out if
there were others who had interest in silver halide
books and if so, what were they typing into an
internet search engine.
In February we began research
to determine if there were people interested in photographs
and books made from silver
halide photo paper and if so, what were they typing
in search engines. Quickly it became obvious in WordTracker
that people were looking for 'real photos'. Using this
data, we began implementing Search Engine Optimization on
the RealEnduraPhotographs.com website. Not only did we
focus on real photo paper, but found that Kodak
Endura was of high interest as well.
Recently my Uncle in Indiana passed away on the day of
his 93rd birthday. While at the funeral home, my
brother photographed a wall of photographs that
a family member had put up in memory of Uncle Ernie.
One photograph instantly jumped out at me from all
the rest. It was a sepia tone photograph of Uncle Ernie
and Aunt Zelma that was taken on my
grandparents Kentucky family farm the day they
were married. Their wedding day photograph showed Uncle
Ernie in his newest suspenders, Aunt Zelma in her Sunday
best, and their two mules with a mound of soy beans in
the background. Most every time I visited with Uncle
Ernie as I was growing up, he always wore a hat that was
sort of tilted on the side of his head. I had forgotten
about the way he always wore that hat until I saw it
again in their photograph.
Since I first saw it, I've often wondered... what if
this had been taken with a cell phone or a digital
camera and given to them on a CD or in a digital picture
frame? Today, no one would have ever known it existed.
But thanks to a photographer who used real photo paper -
the memory of my Uncle and Aunt will have a chance to
live on for another 200 years or so.
mission is to offer engaging and accurate responses to
the growing questions
now surrounding real
photo paper and it's importance.
Rather than let the current generation become known as
the 'generation without pictures', we will take each
opportunity to prevent this dynamic from coming true.
Our explanations and responses as to why real
photographs must be made, will insure the instant
gratification of today's digital capture will continue
to gratify each and every time someone touches that same
moment - in a real photograph.