I am a proponent of printing photographs, to make them real and to make them last. So they’re not seen for a second on a screen. The holidays are approaching and with that the stress over what to get someone. How much to spend? How many gifts? How much is enough? It’s crazy the stress we put ourselves under for something that should be heart-felt and a simple act of giving.
I say make photographs, print some of your photos and put them in small 4×6 or 5×7 frames–everyone has room for a small framed piece of art in their house, a 16×20 not so much. It can be a portrait you made of them, it can be a group of you and your friends at play, or it can be a scenic or another kind of photograph that you like to make.
If you were visiting Picasso, what would you rather receive, a scarf and mittens set from Target or an original Picasso? Well, you’re Picasso. They’re getting an original You. You make art like no one else and your work is even more important to your friends because it came from you, your vision, you made it.
What are we making all these photographs for if we have no plan for anyone ever seeing them except for a glance on a device? The gift of a framed photograph to your family and friends is one they will be glad to have, an original piece that you made.
If you like scenic photos, print a scenic. Put it in a frame with a mat and sign it. Make it yours. Own it. You’re an artist, a photographic artist. Absolutely.
I’m usually a photographer making documentary photos and portraits. But I could just as well put in a nature photograph. You’re the artist, you get to choose.
I have a selection of abstracts for sale at Fine Art America because interior designers are often looking for bold colors for prints. Hey, if you’re too shy to gift your own prints, gift them one of mine! But better yet, don’t be too shy.
No one is going to be excited by those socks or gloves, no one even remembers what they received last year. Unless it’s art that lives with them on their walls or their shelves–art we created and gifted. That’s a gift that lasts for much longer than a day.
And by gifting your art, you’re not buying into the expensive spending frenzy that the commercial world tells you you’re supposed to do. You’re an artist working outside of the lines, making your own gifts.
There’s nothing more that a friend or family member could want.
And think of it this way–I’m changing the world with this post. If just one person saves their money and delivers their art, that framed photograph may last for generations in a family. That art may become the part of a home’s decor for years to come. And future generations’ families, too.
Plus just maybe this gift of art will give another friend or family member the idea that they can present their art as gifts.
It’s a generous medium, photography. It gives and gives.
We can too.