Photography Is Still An Experience

When you see an average picture, it simply stares back at you showing you an object, a person or a thing. It does little for you because you don’t become emotionally attached to it. Its just a representation of something at some point in time.

That unfortunately is how most photography exists. The average person whips out their iPhone and snaps a photo of the person they are with smiling at the camera. There may be something in the background, but for the most part its just another smiling picture amongst the many they’ve already posted to their Facebook page.

But if you come across an exceptional photograph, it does more than show you a person or object. It does something to you. It touches your heart. It makes you say wow. It gives you a reason to stare at it just a bit longer. It makes you feel like you are there, participating in whatever action is taking place.

And that is a rare art form. That truly is what separates a great professional photographer from everyone else.

If you look back over the life of photography, things are always changing. And you can find a true professional at every stage. One who took what photography had and pushed it to its limits.

While cameras and photography as a whole didn’t change much over a 100 year period, the onset of digital has sped up that process. And of course in some ways made the whole industry fall flat on its face. When everyone is a photographer, how can you separate what’s good from what is average? That’s the problem we are facing right now.

The general population is inundated with photographs – they are everywhere. So if someone jumps into the “professional” category, yet still takes average images, they soon lose a sense of what’s good and what’s great.

Which means now more than ever, separation is the key to survival. You have to look so different, be completely surprising in your presentation that the average person stops and stares and says wow.

Its never been about the picture or the subject matter. Its always been about the experience. And that experience can be spread across the entire time frame you are together with a client; from the creation of the image, to the way the final image is portrayed.

Because photography is changing, its important to keep up with the trends to find out how you can reach beyond what the average photographer is doing, and give yourself an edge setting up the “wow” experience. Its also important to see what people are investing in and what big companies think is going to be the next best thing in the world of photography. And according to billionaire investor Mark Cuban, that may be with a company called Condition One.

Condition One is an interesting new concept that combines still images, video and the iPad to give users the ability to look beyond any scene they are currently viewing.

Have you ever seen a photograph where you wish you could turn it just slightly to see what’s beyond the four sides of the image? Now you can.

It gives you the impression of being there. It allows you to be a part of the scene. It allows you to experience not only what you’re viewing, but also gives you the option of seeing beyond the scene. Its completely interactive and gives you a unique experience – the wow factor.

What are the possibilities? That still remains to be seen.

But like with any technology, the key here is to let it open up the possibilities and give you a reason to stretch and be different than your competition.

We already know photography is changing.

We know people don’t want the typical wall photographs like they used to.

We know they like technology, the ability to share things and the ability to carry things around on their iPhones and iPads.

We know video will be more important than ever in the future – its already built into many of today’s professional “still” cameras.

Will this give some truly inventive photographer an edge to succeed?

2 thoughts on “Photography Is Still An Experience”

  1. Lori, I just wanted to share with you our experience this past week. We were asked to shoot the pictures for a promo for a band in town. These are kids from our church that will be participating in a fund raising concert to help the board of disabilities in our county. We decided to support this cause (Operation Hope) and donated our time and photographic talent.

    My husband and I scouted locations, found the perfect place, studied some band photography on the internet, did some rough lighting diagrams to have an idea what we wanted to do with our speedlights (we still don’t have big lighting equipment). Everything went perfect the day of the shooting (except that we have to delay the photo shoot by one hour due to the weather). We had an awesome time with all the guys, but most importantly, we were able to produce great images.

    We prepared a slideshow with our favorite images of the day and a very nice instrumental music for background (NOTE: we used license free music. You may want to check out As I mentioned before, we did not charged anything for our work for the band, as it was for charity purposes, but the dad of three of the kids was so happy with the images, that he had tears in his eyes! As part of the “behind the scenes” I took one picture of three of the kids (his sons) in B&W (natural light, very shallow DOF, the three brothers hugging with big smiles on their faces). This dad was so thrilled with the images that he order a 30×24 gallery wrap of this B&W picture of his kids to display in their home!!! Our first gallery wrap sale ever! This dad valued our work and was happy to pay for it. He didn’t even flinched at the price. We are so excited! There is people that actually values photography, but I must agree that we have to provide an experience to our clients. We learned that it is not only about good photography, but about making feel your clients special.

    Word of mouth is spreading fast and we are starting to book sessions for Fall. This coming Saturday we have a new challenge: a family session with a white seamless. I will keep you posted how it goes!

    We are seeing small successes along the way, so I just wanted to share this with you, as we attribute a lot of the best practices we are implementing in our business to the advice in your e-books.

    With gratitude,


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