Perceptive Photographer #27: Marketing the iPhone and value in photography

Written by Daniel Gregory

I am a Whidbey Island, Wa based fine-art photographer and photographic educator. I am a core faculty member of the Photographic Center Northwest, as well as an instructor for CreateLive and KeblyOne . I also regularly presents at regional and national conferences. I also the host of the weekly podcast The Perceptive Photographer which focuses on the challenges and day-to-day aspects of living as a photographer.

September 14, 2015

PerceptivePhotographerWeblogo

This week Apple, Inc announced the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to much fanfare and hype. By all accounts, the phone will be a runaway success toping the record-breaking sales of the iPhone 6/6 Plus.  From all the press and demos, the phone does appear to be an engineering marvel. As I read about the new phone decided if it was time to upgrade (it likely is), I got to really thinking about how Apple markets the iPhone.

From the opening phrase, the only thing that has changed is everything to the laundry list of new or improved features fans of the phone were sold. Apple talks about:

  • 3D multitouch
  • 12MP, 4K camera
  • A9 processors
  • TouchID improvements
  • Faster Wi-fi/LTE
  • the fact that it is an experience unlike any other on a phone unlike any other.

All that talk got me thinking about what would happen if we talked about our photographs that way. What would it look like if each year we took the same set of photos, reprocessed and printed them on new papers and printers and then sold them to the same people as something they couldn’t live without. In pondering such an idea, it occurred to me that Apple doesn’t really market the technology or the upgrade as it is still just an iPhone. What they market is the idea of the value that they phone can bring to our life. All the moments, memories, communication and relationships that can be held in the phone. It is that very idea of value that makes the marketing work.

As you think about your photography, how do you define value in your work. Is it by reach, money, impact or something else. If you were going to rent out a hall and report to the media about the value of your work, what would that message say.

Affiliate Links

This website may use affiliate links. This means when you purchase something through links marked as affiliate links (usually noted by a *), I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I personally use or have tested.

New Course at KelbyOne

You May Also Like…

AI and Computational Photography-When is it no longer a photograph?

AI and Computational Photography-When is it no longer a photograph?

I have been asked a lot recently about what I think about some of the new tools digital photographers have at their disposal. Many programs now offer “AI or machine learning” to help edit photographs. Now with the click of a few buttons, you can replace skies, change expressions, or quickly composite images together.

In today’s podcast, we talk a little about a few issues that arise when you think about the nature of computational photography and the language and words we might consider when talking about photography moving forward.

The rules and repeatability of composition

The rules and repeatability of composition

In the end, I think we all want to make interesting photographs, and the composition and framing are so much of that experience. The more you can be aware of composing, the more interesting and accurate stories you can tell. Being aware also gives you something else that is critical to photography–repeatability. You can repeat something repeatedly because you understand what happened and not just got lucky once with an accident. At the end of a day of photographing, knowing that we’re able to get the image you wanted because you understood the composition’s impacts making the editing and selection process that much more fun.

The joy and pain of muscle memory

The joy and pain of muscle memory

In this week’s podcast, we look at the impacts of muscle memory on our photography. Muscle memory, or the body’s ability to do something without thinking about it, is an important aspect of working as a photographer. This memory allows us to be able to quickly and efficiently do our jobs. From settings on the camera to keyboard shortcuts in a program, being efficient can really make a difference in how we can do our work. Yet, there is a downside. Anyone who has spent too much time hunched over a desk knows that bad things can happen when muscles remember bad things. Hunched over a desk can make our backs and necks hurt for days as the muscles unwind. In our photography, bad muscle memory can reinforce bad habits or make us a little lazy in our approach to editing and working. Spending some time to sort out what is good and bad about our muscle memory habits might make us better photographers and a little less sore.