I believe in photography – but more than that I believe in photographs.
Printed photographs are tangible. We can hold on to them, pass them
around, frame them and hang them on a wall. We can make albums to be
treasured and looked through by children for years to come.
We can’t touch a file and the truth is we don’t know the longevity of a
file or if we will even be able to find it someday. A digital file is a
bit of a mystery – if it’s lost, where did it go. If a drive is damaged
what happens to the files? How many people truly back up all their
What happened to disc cameras, eight track tapes, Walkman's and other
technology we thought would last forever? What will our children be
looking at in 20 or 30 years? Photographs are special – files are not!
I believe in printing my work professionally. I believe my work is more
than a screen saver. Years of studying and perfecting my craft comes
down to more than sending files via the internet.
The photographs I create for my clients are not only precious to my
clients but they are precious to me. It is my work, a lifetime of work
that deserves to be printed.
Photographs are passed on to children and grandchildren. Can you imagine
a floppy disk, a DVD or a flash drive sitting in a frame representing
your family portraits?
Like many photographers I have struggled with bending to the needs or
wants of a clientele that is looking for files. But this is what I
discovered over the last year – It makes me uncomfortable in the center
of my gut to hand over digital files no matter the price. Clients have
told me that the DVD is still sitting on a desk and they should have had
me make the prints in the first place because they never have time to
get to it.
I wonder about those files that were sold…. How were they printed? Did
the client crop it too tight? Is the color correct? Did they attempt to
alter the image? It troubles me because I put so much of myself into my
work. And, I have to wonder… am I really acting as a professional and
serving my client the best way I know how to by simply selling
intangible files that may never be printed?
For some, it’s easy…. take some photos, edit them, burn them on a disk
or flash-drive and make a few bucks. I don’t and can’t operate that way
– I care too much about my work, my clients and future generations that
might have no photographs because I wanted to make fast and easy money
I’m taking a stand! I am a photographer! I am without a doubt passionate
about creating photographs – real pictures – printed on professional
papers – and made into beautiful albums. I want your children, their
children, my children and future grandchildren looking at and holding
onto photographs not the latest greatest gadget.
It has taken deep soul searching, a lot of thought and time to define
the value of my work. I am taking a stand against selling files and
taking a strong stand for printing my photographs.
If being a business owner and photographer today means the current
market will force me to sell files not photographs and to compromise my
work and my values – well then, I’m out.
But, that won’t happen! I know it won’t because I know there are people
and clients who value my work, understand and respect the value I have
placed on my work and actually want photographs.
I am Michele Celentano , a professional photographer – I believe in and
value photography and the images we leave for our children. My work and
your portraits will be professionally printed to my standards, they will
be available to frame and look at in albums…
The portraits I create for you will not become a part of your screen
saver slide show. I have worked too hard and taken too much pride in my
work for that to happen. I will not take the risk that in 20 years we
will be a generation of lost photographs.
There I stand!
Published by permission from Michele Celentano