Posted on Jun 30, 2014
Posted in Personal

Vinyl is killing the mp3 industry…

I’ve made no secret about my recent (re)-infatuation with vinyl records.  Several months ago, I dusted off my 35 year old turntable I bought in Oregon a while back, got it refurbished, and began spinning again.  I either own digitally or have access to almost everything I could ever want to listen to, but I can’t compare the feeling I get when I take the effort to place an LP on the platter and drop the needle.  There is something deliberate about it, calculated and valued.  The analog crackle and pop of the spinning wax conducting through the needle somehow seems incredibly more “real” than pressing play on my mobile device. I get to touch and view the artwork in the size and format that the artists intended.  When I buy an old record, I’m having the same visceral experience someone had 30-60 years ago.  My daughters (and their children) will someday be able to hold these and experience them the same way I did, even when I am gone.

The parallels to my photography business hit me like a ton of bricks.  I love digital technology.  It has allowed me creative opportunities I would have never realized or been able to express.  But as time goes by, I am realizing that despite my greatest digital creations, without a physical representation I “have” nothing.

About two years ago an educator/peer in my industry unexpectedly lost his wife in a tragic accident.  Immediately he searched for her photographs and memories of them as a couple.  She had always been the one in charge of storing/archiving their digital media and he was in a near panic as he could not locate anything.  He feared all those memories were lost.  Fortunately he was able to locate the old hard drives and the data was still intact.  He immediately printed the images and they are still hanging on his wall.

The immediacy of digital/social media can be seductive and I succumb to it constantly. My recent vinyl resurgence has made me once again realize that is not what we(our photography business) are about.  When the cloud quits, when my hard drives fail, when social media shuts down, I will still be able to enjoy my framed prints of my family that adorn our walls.  How will your memories be preserved?
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