Perhaps it’s special because it feels like an event when you’re flipping pages. Is that what makes it different?
Maybe it’s nostalgic. Or just a wish to get away from all things digital, especially since so many of us are in front of our phones and computers all day.
Call it a resurgence. A return to analog. Whatever you want to call it.
But I’ve been making up small pocket-able albums of photographs for some of my clients and they tell me they love them. When they get together with friends, they pass the album around the table to show photos and they can share them without having to pull out their phones.
I’ve had a couple dozen orders so far this year and it seems to be growing in popularity. Any other photographers experiencing this trend?
The albums contain all kinds of photographs–ones I’ve made, or their own photos–pictures of family and friends that they send to me to tone and crop and I get printed for them.
And since the photos are 4×6″, they’re larger than their phone, so they look better and easy for friends to see.
I asked one client about the experience when her friends see them, what it’s like, and she said people seem to look at them longer. They look at the photos and ask questions and talk about them. Because it’s much slower to flip to the next one, since it’s not just a swipe away.
With the phone, it’s swipe, swipe, swipe, done.
I know it’s true when I show my work to an art director at an advertising agency. I always bring prints. There’s something extra special about holding a mounted 12×18″ print that just beats an iPad every time. Art directors have even told me they prefer to look at real prints.
A few people have asked for printed books, but the majority want the simple 4×6″ albums with real photos tucked in the individual sleeves.
It’s interesting, there are old photo albums in our family, and my nephews and nieces have always loved opening them and perusing the images, looking back into the history of our family. But why is this an old idea? Why can’t there be new albums?
Of course there can be.
I run a monthly event for photographers to come together and show their work called Beers + Cameras: Boulder. Most people bring digital files that we put up on a projection screen. But occasionally, someone will bring hand-printed photographs–glorious black and white prints that they made themselves.
Those are always the highlight of the show.
I don’t believe it’s nostalgic any more than why Tom Hanks types with a typewriter. Some things–not everything–but sometimes, the previous way worked well. And for Tom, thank you notes made on real paper are special in a way that an email is not.
I’d say that’s what’s happening with photographs now, and how people are once more valuing the simple photo album. It’s not like there are hundreds of orders, but there weren’t half this many all of last year.
They’re easy to create. They’re inexpensive. If you want a hand with one, give me a ring–that’s what I do. I can crop and tone yours to look their best. 720.982.9237
Or make one up yourself. See if you don’t get the experience I’m seeing with my clients.
It’s great fun, and I’m glad to see prints making a resurgence, even in a small way. Those very well may be the only photographs that survive the digital dark age.