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Wednesday, June 08, 2005 |
Your Pics Are Too Good For Walmart
Nothing helps lift the mood of mild depression then ... righteous indignation! Yay! Rant time! Seriously, what was life like before blogs? How did we rant? Was it just to our friends who would roll their eyes? Was it to strangers on the street, who would alternately either roll their eyes or mace us? How many of the great flamer bait rants have been lost to the dustbin of history simply because nobody was there to blog it? But I digress. Walmart is stupid. This is known fact, best illustrated by their cease and desist order against the one fool who actually stands up and defends them on the Internet. So this is nothing new, although it bears repeating. Professional photographers, on the other hand, have flown under the radar for some time now. But thanks to the tireless work of The Professional Photographers of America trade association, they've appeared on the rant radar! Yay! More people I can call COMPLETE IDIOTS! If you've never done wedding or professional pictures before, here's the deal. You pay the photographer for the prints. You don't own the prints or the copyright or the negatives or anything, they own all that. They make the money through the prints. All those times you got upset over somebody taking your picture in public without permission? You're being irrational, because when you go to a professional, you're gonna pay them to do the same thing. See? You're paying to give permission to have someone else own your likeness. A sweet deal for the professional, no? (actually, no, because they don't make any money anyway) Having a stranger own your images used to be the way everybody did business, and it used to work out well. Or at least it worked. But now, thanks to digital cameras which allow you to take a thousand shots, and then spruce up the good ones with photoshop, it's not that hard to make good looking pictures (note, not great pictures, those are nearly impossible to make, just good pictures). And now that we can all reproduce our own pictures at home if we want to, people are beginning to chafe at the old system. I mean, if it's your wedding, and you're paying the photographer, why wouldn't you own the images? You get to keep the wedding gifts, the ring, all the champagne you can drink, why not the memories too? So the short end of it is that soon, if not already, you'll have lots o good looking pics that you own and need to print. But don't stop by WalMart for that. WalMart won't print your pictures if ... they look TOO GOOD. They might be professional (cue scary music ... dum dum da!). Rather then side with the millions of paying customers, WalMart has decided to align their interests with a small professional organization that doesn't really contribute to their bottom line. And that's not a bad thing, because if WalMart doesn't want your money, suprise suprise, there are literally thousands of places that do. So, if you want to make prints of your loved ones from your digital pictures, skip WalMart and go to pretty much anybody else. Target is good. I personally like (a Sony division). is pretty good too. And at the end of the day, Dollars talk loudest at WalMart. If they lose enough photo printing business, they'll change their policies too.


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