Tag Archives: snapshots

Photos With Santa

I was over at Serramonte Mall the other day, a God forsaken pit of a shopping mall, but it’s the closest thing to my house so I’m stuck with it.  Anyway, I was with my kid so we checked out the whole pose with Santa program.  Sit on Santa’s lap, take a picture, and then buy the obligatory print package of say, 4 wallets and a 5×7.  When did 4 wallets and a 5×7 become a $20.00 item?  Maybe if that was the real Kris Kringle, but this Santa wasn’t even fat.  He was some skinny ass hippy from Daly City.  And, the photos are not even on real photo paper.  They are printed on a xerox photo printer by some 16 year old kid.  Sorry Son, we’ll have to skip this.  Can I buy you an ice cream cone instead?

This got me to thinking about a story my dad once told me about his first job.  He was 15 years old, this would have been about 1940.  He worked as a photographer for a company called Kidnappers.  He would go door to door with a camera and lights offering to photograph children.  He would take the pictures and then stay up all night developing the film and making contact sheets.  He would deliver the proofs to the houses the next day and take print orders for 8×10’s, etc…People would serve him coffee and cake while they made their selections.

Can you imagine trying to get in someone’s door nowadays with a camera, wanting to photograph children?  You would need 5 forms of ID and you’d still wouldn’t get through the door.  I wonder what would happen if I brought Santa door to door, offering that same service, but inside the comfort of your own home?  Not that lousy shopping mall Santa either…………..HO HO HO.


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Point And Shit

Remember the snapshot? I do. I’ve got a bunch of little square photos taken 40 years ago of me as kid. I have photos taken 20 years ago of me in college. They are not fancy photos, but the images share a common “snapshot” quality to them. Now along comes digital and people are snapping photos a mile a minute, capturing pointless minutia, and too many buttcracks. If I’m going to take a picture of my ass, I’m going to at least put the camera on timer, set in on a rock, take a step or two back, and hope for the best. I really don’t think you should be able to take a picture of yourself without letting go of the camera. I really hate those shots of someone’s entire head in the frame because their arm extends only so far! What ever happened to asking a stranger to “take my picture.”?

If I designed a digital camera, I’d make it smart enough to stop all the dumb ass photos people take. Even if it’s a snapshot, it should be taken with care and with respect for photography. Even when we had disposable cameras, it didn’t mean that we had disposable images.

So yeah, I’m a bit of a snob about this, and I’m not sayin’ that I don’t take lousy photos, bit I do think about what I’m doing, and I do care about every snap.

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