Archive for April, 2013

April 9, 2013

Family Photographer Enters The Venice Biennale

The works of Nikolay Bakharev – a Russian family photographer from a miners’ town – will be exhibited at The Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) – one of the most prestigious international cultural event. Ever since its foundation, it has been at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends.

Bakharev, now known as the pioneer of Soviet Eroticism in photography, started his career in the 70s working as a family photographer in a miners’ town of Novokuznetsk taking pictures in schools and kindergartens, at funerals and weddings.

It was good money but he was looking to raise the plank in his trade. He regularly read photo magazines Sovetskoye Photo, Czech Photo Review, German FotoMAGAZIN in search of creative ideas.

His found his clients among workers, students in hostels, people on the beach who later invited him to take photos at their homes. They had no special requirements except “make it beautiful”.

Who knew that many years later these shots would be considered museum grade Art.

In the words of Bakharev, “A human being is interesting with his or her openness and frankness… it has nothing to do with an exalted spirituality and beauty which seems to be hidden in any person and must be revealed.”


The Beach Series Photos By Nikolay Bakharev »
Nikolay Bakharev in Conversation with Luca Desienna »

April 7, 2013

Sears “Amazing Photography” Is No More

Sears-Portrait-Studio-closesCPI Corporation, the St. Louis-based operator of over 2,000 Sears Portrait Studios, PictureMe Studios in Walmart and Toys R Us portrait studios abruptly closed all studios nationwide.

Blaming the Digital trend as they do is just an excuse not to take the responsibility for having been stuck with an ailing business model in the face of the modernization of the Photography industry that rapidly evolves as consumers are taking charge.

While a whole host of specialized high-quality vendors were beginning to command this very personal Photography industry branch – Consumer Photography, CPI was still bundling services from “good enough” providers.

At the production point, the photographer on duty could be bad at handling kids or didn’t know how to pose pregnant women. The backdrops and props were outdated.

At post production, there were problems with cropping for framing, forget about editing out stretch marks, fixing awkward smile, or skin retouching.

Printing took weeks and months instead of the promised 72 hours.

This is why consumers chose to beat feet the hell out of Sears Portrait.  They had options. There are plenty of specialized photographers to choose from and who will come to you to take pictures in your natural environment.

Then you can submit your photos online (professional or amateur) to companies like PhotoHand.com to get professional grade photo editing for the price of a Starbucks coffee.

As for online printers, there are gazillions to choose from offering everything – from plain prints to photo books to photo blankets and photo cake tops. Even professional grade printers like NationsPhotoLab are beginning to serve amateurs.

Lesson learned: Don’t mess with empowered consumers!


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