…said no one ever.
Same with the photos on your phone that you want to show someone, but first you have to scroll endlessly because you have no idea where it is and you just can’t find it: “I know it’s here somewhere, but maybe not back this far, or maybe just a bit more, [scroll scroll] hold on, wait, I think, no that’s not it, either. [scroll scroll] I just saw it.”
Forget it. No one wants to wait to see it. It’s not ready, when you do find it, it’s too late, and not that good of a display anyway and certainly wasn’t worth waiting for.
Want to make an impact? Make a photograph. A real photographic print. Whether you shoot film or digital, you have the ability to make an actual photograph. Otherwise you’ll end up leaving it on your phone for no one to ever see.
There’s a friend of ours visiting right now as I write this, and sitting next to her Triumph Bonneville motorcycle is a portrait of her standing next to her bike from the last time she visited. It’s a hand-printed black and white photograph I made in my darkroom and put into a mat and frame.
It’s an actual photograph. In a black wood frame. Like photographs have traditionally been made and seen in gallery shows and home displays since the beginnings of photography.
There’s no wait to see it. No need to charge a phone to view it. It’s there, ready, on display. The right size, no need to pinch zoom to see the details. It’s finished.
We make photographs to share moments, some that are meant to live on in our world, special moments of time shared. To live longer than a glance on our phone. Like this one. (Yes, she’s doing her Fonzie thumb impression.) That’s priceless.
The alternative is that phone fireworks display that just doesn’t satisfy at that size. A fireworks show that reminds me of the limitation of photography when it’s relegated to the small screen. Photographs are worthy of so much more than a glance and a swipe. They’re art–the art of the snapshot. Or a friend’s portrait in this case.
They need to be made into a physical work of art, the photograph that they are, which means making a print.
Happy Independence Day. Choose the independent thought that is not so popular nowadays and make the print. Gift it to a friend and let them know they matter, that they’re that special enough to you to make and frame a photograph. That’s the real joy of photography.