Posted on September 13, 2014 by under
September is here and with it the back-to-school excitement (or dread, depending on your outlook). And you know, at some point, that your child will come home with the news that it’s school photograph time. Now we have nothing against school photographers and the portraits they provide. School photography is by its very nature swift and uncompromising. With potentially hundreds of children to photograph, neither the school or photographer have very little time available to spend with the children, getting them to relax and so on. It’s a case of in-smile-out, over and over again. As a documentation of your child’s hairstyles throughout their school years there is nothing quite like comparing the images from one year to the next, but as an accurate record of them as an individual sometimes these school portraits miss the mark.
So what, you may well ask. It’s relatively cheap and it happens every year. Well, here at Trinity Photography we offer a school portrait service which is a little different to the norm. We don’t come in to the school (although we can if you ask us nicely) but we set aside early afternoons after school for 15 minute portrait shoots. These are only for children – absolutely no adults allowed, it’s not a family sitting! – and we welcome sports kit, instruments, uniform etc etc. We provide you with one 7″x5″ mounted print with the £25 fee, and after that there is no obligation to buy. We offer the same type of packs as the traditional school shoot, but you get to view your images on the day, zoom in, choose the ones you’d like and leave with a smile on your face. Coming in to the studio is an experience, and one that your kids will enjoy as they get to play around a bit in front of the camera. After all, we’ve got 15 minutes to work with your children, not just 2. We want to capture your child’s sense of fun and adventure; their passion for music; their concentration on their studies; their sibling love. We want to make sure we photograph the child you know and love that will make a great present for grandparents, aunts and uncles at Christmas and so on. And it goes without saying that our work is of the very highest quality – we process all of our images correctly and use the very best pro-labs to produce our prints and products. We think you’ll love what we can bring to the school photography market – why not give us a call on 01722 422224 to try us out for yourself? We look forward to hearing from you.
Posted on August 23, 2014 by under
Digital imagery. Hmm, it’s a thorny issue this one. Do you remember when you used to have to put film in your camera and had to be really careful about what and when to shoot, because it used to cost you to a) buy the film and then b) develop it? And do you remember that if you wanted to have a family portrait taken you (probably) had to use a professional photographer? Since then digital cameras have emerged on the scene and gradually come down in price to an affordable level for all, and alongside this we’ve seen the dawning of the smartphone/tablet era. Now everyone’s a ‘photographer’… Whilst it’s great that almost everyone is now able to snap away whenever the mood takes them (as it’s hard to find a phone that doesn’t have a camera as standard these days) it doesn’t immediately mean that everyone is now a pro. Or that the professional is no longer worth using and paying for. Or that a professional’s product is now worth less than it was before.
Back in the pre-digital era, you had to pay for film stock and then pay a lab to develop your pictures. Now we work in the digital age, we still need to purchase memory cards and process the images. It’s just that it’s all done using pixels, megabytes and RAM rather than negatives, solution and photographic paper. We spend as much time (or possibly even more) developing our raw files into fully-processed, colour-corrected digital files as we did when using film. The difference now is the storage – and that is about the only difference. And just because you happen to lose a copy it doesn’t mean it costs us nothing to replace it. It means we have to spend time retrieving the file from archive. And why should you get another copy free? We often hear the phrase ‘it’s only digital’ as if that means it’s worth nothing. If you can’t be bothered to have a look for it why should we? If you lose an item at home that you bought in the supermarket two months ago you wouldn’t expect them to replace it for free, surely?
How can we combat this problem? Well, it starts with you. We always try to explain to customers that there is no such thing as ‘just digital’ – the value attached to our work is the work itself; the time spent training to get to the point where we can produce exceptional imagery; the time spent in taking and processing the image; the investment in equipment and skills; the use to which the digital image is going to be put. And the fact that we hold the original, so if you do happen to delete your hard drive or pour coffee onto the motherboard we are able to replace your digital imagery for you. Much as we would have done in the good old days of film. Just because some of our professional output is in pixels rather than paper, it doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable. The same goes for professional artists of all types, from musicians to painters, graphic designers to copywriters and everything in between. Just because you can’t hold something physically in your hands doesn’t mean it is worthless.
Please look after your digital imagery – please make sure you back your files up on a hard drive or disc as well as keeping them safe in a folder on your pc or, even better, in the cloud somewhere. Treat your digital imagery in the same way you treat your driving licence or insurance documents. Know where it is at all times as you just never know when you might need it! But if all else fails, you know where we are.
Posted on August 15, 2014 by under
Why do people sometimes settle for second, or even third best? Why do people sometimes choose price over quality? What makes people focus on using their phones to take a blurred image rather than being completely immersed in the moment (and then buying a professional photograph afterwards)?
It’s a strange old world, and we read about the social consequences of people morphing their online world into the tangible with predictably depressing results: people unable to communicate with each other face to face; people unable to put pen to paper to construct a letter or even a decent sentence; people losing the ability to be ‘in the moment’. All of these things are a sad indictment of the modern world, but they aren’t universal. A lot of people do experience the activity for real and can remember and evoke it for years afterwards. Spelling and grammar are still important and a lot of people can still write legibly. A lot of people are of course able to hold a conversation and engage in insightful and interesting discussion.
So what has all this to with us you may be wondering? Well, we think that there are a number of reasons to pay for a professional photograph rather than doing it yourself. First of all you’ve got the issue of quality to think about. A professional will be able to take a great picture of you. You will be in focus, you’ll be able to see each and every detail, the colour will be correct. You’ll be able to have a variety of images taken so you have plenty to choose from. The pro isn’t going to run out of space on their memory card, or take the picture in a format that no computer can open.
You’ll have memories to treasure – think about your family albums when you were little, clearing out grandparents’ attics and finding long-lost relatives immortalised on film. It was an exciting endeavour, seeing Great Aunt Molly taking the sea air in her petticoats and woollen swimming costume. We get to see how people in the past lived, and these photos brings our ancestors to life.
Alongside this is your heritage. Photographs can be passed on and shared with friends and family – you might pay for a professional to create an album or hanging piece, or even something as simple as creating a personalised disc. Or it might be rescuing images that have been damaged by exposure to sun/water/teeth/tiny hands. Or perhaps you would like to montage old and new images together.
You get an actual experience to remember – these days people get snapped every day, whether on someone’s smartphone or tablet or captured on CCTV. Your picture probably appears on Facebook timelines left, right and centre. You might be the type of person who snaps every meal, every friend’s party and every outing you go on. Can you remember what it felt like when you were there, when it was actually happening? Time spent with a professional photographer means you get some time back to yourself to ‘live’ the moment. Images evoke feelings and emotions, and in years to come when you look back at an image taken by a professional photographer you’re probably going to remember the whole experience – you’ll remember what the weather was like, how the family was feeling, the fun you had in the studio or on location, what it was like when you all left the studio, how you felt when you saw the images for the first time. You will get a sense of time and place, which is often missing from a self-taken shot in amongst the mass of other stuff happening at that point. We are so used to things being instant these days that often the art of patience is lost. By using a professional you will get a sense of anticipation and excitement – emotions that we maybe don’t get to feel often enough. Imagine the build-up to an event, and how it feels afterwards. Good things come to those who wait was a slogan for Guinness, and it’s absolutely applicable to good professional photography.
So why not consider making time for yourself and your family and invest in a professional photo shoot? You’ll remember it for years to come, and as the photos get passed down through the generations so will the accompanying stories, giving pleasure to others for ever after.