Making memories that last

I recently met someone who is is a national sales position in the electronics industry that cited a recent study indicating 62% of pictures shot, never leave a memory card.  As professional photographers, we of course rotate cards, and hopefully have a rock solid archiving, backup plan for our images.  The megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes get intimidating for everyone at some level.  I manage an ever growing archive at Picture Place that is well in excess of 7TB and is growing all the time.  Digital capture keeps getting better, and the megapixel sizes keep growing.  It wasn’t long ago when many professionals thought that a 6MP camera was as good as it got.  Well, when it became 10,12,14, 21, 24 and now even 36MP in DSLR capture, the file sizes are exploding.  I now carry around a mobile phone with an insanely good 8MP camera, crazy.

The simplicity, convenience and ease of capturing images, and making memories is fantastic.  The portrait and event photography I do professionally has never looked better, and I am always finding ways to create better images for my customers.  When hiring a photographer, there is real value in working with a professional that not only will deliver great images, but will handle, store and archive your images for years to come.

On a personal level, many of us fall horribly short in the archive chapter of all of this. Scrapbooking was all the rage not long ago. I love looking at the books we (ok, my wife) created for our kids.  When we all recorded our life experiences with film cameras, the prints we had made provided an ongoing inventory of pictures to put in albums, scrapbooks and to display around the house.  When was the last time you made a few prints of anything?  What a shame that the grandparents aren’t on facebook, they’re missing out on all the cool instagram mobile uploads I post of my kids…sound familiar?

I love the instant posting that just keeps getting easier all the time.  I probably post a mobile upload 3 times a week to entertain myself, and enrich the lives of my followers… 

Then again, remember that incredible picture you posted 3 weeks ago?  Let me guess, you don’t remember. In the world of facebook, the feed keeps rolling. Yes, timeline keeps them around, but really?  Does anyone care enough to stroll back through weeks, months, years of postings?

Won’t it be great when my two and a half month old grand-daughter wants to see all the pictures we’re all shooting of her?  Our facebook feeds are full of great shots of her.  Hmmm, fast forward 10, 20, 30 years.  Facebook?  Will it even exist?  How many mobile phones, computers, iphoto libraries, hard drives will you have gone thru?  “Hey grandpa, I’m going on a mission trip to ____________, my mom told me you went there in 2014, can I see your pictures?”,  “well, let me think about that honey, that was a long time ago, yes, here is a CR-ROM with all the pictures, gee, I don’t have anything that can read these old discs….”

As a public service announcement to all my family, friends and Picture Place customers.  Please, think about this, and at the very least, start making prints of your life experiences.  Consumer level prints are dirt cheap, and super easy to have printed.  Retailers offer print sales all the time.  Take some time to think about where all your pictures are stored and how you need to start organizing and archiving them somehow. If you want suggestions, contact me anytime and I’d be happy to help.  While you’re at it, schedule a family portrait with me, it will force you to get some prints made for your walls, not your wallpaper.

Happy archiving.

Barry  651-426-0232


Artists are people too.

In a world where we are exposed to images, videos, commentaries and opinions, there is something truly magical about art.

Not all art is good art, nor is all art loved by everyone. Walking thru a local art show last weekend it became all too obvious that today’s artists are earning the “starving artists” label like never before.  In the realm of photography, I am saddened by how the capture, presentation and sale of great images has been dumbed down to a “hey, nice shot” reaction to the masses, and consequently, very little great photography is being purchased.

On a recent episode of we discussed this topic, and specifically addressed the capabilities and limitations of capturing great images on an iPhone, and whether it is or isn’t a legitimate medium.  While we’d always prefer to be using our pro level gear, sometimes, that just isn’t possible.

One of the best landscape and nature photographers I know (Lawrence Sawyer) recently took a long trek on a vacation at a time of day when he thought there was no point in dragging his Nikon D800e along (after all, the lighting would be horrible).  He then stumbled upon a breathtaking waterfall, surrounded by glorious fall colors, and subsequently created a multi frame/photo stitched panorama using his iPhone.  It is often said that the best camera to own, is the one you have with you.  Case in point.

Visual artists see things differently, but more importantly, skilled photographers apply years of technical training and knowledge into every image captured.

Appreciated craftsmanship in everything you come across.  There is usually a mix of quality, materials and fine tuning that is present in well executed art of all kinds.

Sure, you might be able to snap a picture from the same general spot, but don’t kid yourselves, it won’t look the same.  If you see art of any kind that speaks to you, thank the artist, and invest in their craft and buy it.  If you are hiring a photographer for most any kind of portrait session, special occasion or event, call me at 651-426-0232.  Sometimes, it just pays to do it right.

Barry 651-426-0232

Enjoy this image captured one morning while walking my dog.  This moment came and went in less than 30 seconds.  Good thing I had a great camera with me, in my pocket… I am offering this print for only $35 in a 12×18 glossy format (regular price $69).  It would make a great Christmas gift!

Sunrise over White Bear Lake.