880bn Photos: Is There Still Art In Photography?
Yahoo estimate that 880bn photos will be taken over the course of 2014. That’s 2.4bn per day, 100m an hour or around 1,674,277 photos a second.
It’s about 300 times as many as were taken in 1930 and 100% more than just four years ago.
Consumer photography has changed. Endless photos, endless filters, endless sharing and displaying – online at least.
Compare that to when you had 24 or 36 shots on a disposable camera and could only count on two-thirds of them coming out – a time when you cherished the film running on to provide you those extra couple of photos you weren’t expecting.
As with everything, change has positives and negatives, and it’s easy to romanticise the past. The expense investment that used to be tied to photography demanded respect for the camera and the art of the photo while the process around installing and developing film meant you got exposed to at some of the science behind it. Each photo would be thought about before wasting a precious click on it.
Photos were taken to be printed. Some may never make it out of the photo draw but each would be reviewed and often collaged on a pinboard, framed or put into an album.
Today, Smartphones are outselling cameras 10 to 1, and with this change the need for patience and an appreciation of both art and science have been replaced with instant gratification. The ratio of photos printed to taken has been decimated and some would say that most people’s experience of photography is now artless.
But there’s another side to this argument. The thing is, not everyone had cameras. Photography was not socialised – the cost of cameras, buying film and developing prints made it a luxury that many couldn’t afford. Yes, the cost of camera phones may still leave photography out of the reach for some, but the percentage of people to whom photography has become accessible and affordable has grown exponentially (note statistic-less assertion here, but it’s definitely true).
So more people are taking more photos and, with the rise of online albums, the opportunity to curate and share creatively remains. There are more and more popular editing apps so that ‘post-production’, which very few people used to be able to engage in, has become an accessible art form for a higher percentage of photographers. And people are still printing, they’re still framing and they want to be printing and framing more than they are.
Frame Again was launched to make the printing and framing process a better one than it has been – allowing people to curate photos through their frames, a new design of frame for smartphone photographers and a process that means we print, frame and deliver to your door – normally within 24 hours of your order. We’re extending the art form and making displaying photos as easy as taking them. The framing business has some catching up to do when it comes to responding to the needs of a new generation of photographers and a new era of photography. We’re loving playing our part in that.
The cost of photography to the consumer has plummeted and the percentage of people it is open to has expanded. With a drop in cost for a single photo there has no doubt also been a drop in value. The question facing the industry is how we can embrace this, without losing touch of either the incredible art or science which photography can invite us to be a part of.
Jake Hayman is a co-founder of Frame Again, which has recently opened for business at www.frameagain.com. To offer words of support and praise to a young entrepreneur, please email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org. For complaints and statistical inaccuracies, or if you just happen to hate our frames, please contact his co-Founder Joe Kenyon on email@example.com.
To get framing, please go to www.frameagain.com and see what you think – just upload your favourite pic, choose a frame to match and we’ll print, frame and deliver next day.