I was working last week on a photo shoot for a client in Philadelphia, and I traveled across the country so I could bring a full portrait studio, and also so I could stop in towns across the U.S. and make photographs for my Roy Stryker photo project.
In my travels, I met a couple in a town where I was staying and we were talking about photography and how people don’t make photographs now, just visual notes for likes and swipes. I gave them my thoughts that it’s important to make family photos and print those photos.
On this trip, besides my film Leica and my digital cameras–I was working after all–I carried a Polaroid 660 Autofocus camera and some black and white instant 600 film. That way I could make prints right away–immediately–and they’d be ready to display when I returned home. I photographed several members of my family and the couple were interested in seeing them, so I showed them to them.
The woman had a story for me–she told of her family growing up, and how the boys, her two brothers, got all the attention and accolades, and that the photos of herself that were up on the walls and in picture frames in the house, how they made her feel like she belonged, too, while in so many other ways she felt left out.
Photographs matter. Phone snaps aren’t photographs. They’re not really anything other than notes on a life. Glimpses that will never be seen for more than a few seconds, if that long.
So, you can put off making family photographs, but we all get older and we aren’t here forever.
And, like many people, you’ll end up having no artful family photographs.
Or, you could schedule a photo with a photographer.
But really, it can’t be with just anyone. It has to be with me. Because it’s not the camera. It’s not the software.
There’s no magical camera that takes good photographs.
It’s the photographer.
And if it’s a photo made by anyone else, well, it’s not a Kenneth Wajda photograph. Simple as that.
See, I’m not easily interchangeable with just any photographer. And, yes, you’ll pay a little more. But you’ll get way more than you paid for! That’s my promise. I’m a pro and I guarantee it.
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