Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Making Printables Is a Lot Like Photography


My husband loves photography and I love designing Printables.  At first, I couldn’t see how either could have anything in common, but the more I understood about photography the more I could see the same things being true of Printables.  Whether you are a photographer or a Printable designer, I am pretty sure you can appreciate this list of similarities.

Original vs Copies

Photographers have an especially hard time being original.  Those just getting into photography often look to the greats and mimic, copy, and recreate their photos.  The same is true with Printable designers.  While there is so much room for creativity since Printables have only been around for a few years, so many new Printable designers simply pick their favorite designer and mimic, copy, and recreate their Printables.  Within the world of photography and the world of Printables, the artists need to remember to embrace new ideas and always look for ways to be unique and to do their own thing.  Collect ideas but always make them into something new!

Paid vs Freebies

In the age of digital media, photos and Printables flood social media, websites, and blogs.  What was once unique and treasured becomes cheapened by the mere volume of accessibility!  Why buy a photo when you can go to Flickr, pick a photo that has been made accessible to the public, and print it at home?  Why buy a printable when you can go to a blog, click on Freebies, and print it out immediately?  Why does the Flickr photographer give her product away?  Maybe recognition or it may be just a hobby.  Why does the blog writer spend time producing Printables to give them away?  Maybe to get more hits on her blog or because she does it for a hobby.  However, the existence of free photos and free Printables, doesn’t take away the legitimacy of photographers who charge for their art or Printable designers who charge for their work.

Paid photographers value their work and are not interested in giving away their work.  They prize the time they spend on their subjects and they expect others to see the value of their efforts.  Whether it’s their unique talent, experience, and/or style, they are desirable and people pay money to have prints of their photos.  The same is true with paid Printable designers.  They spend time researching for their Printables and expect others to see the value of their efforts.  They have a unique talent, experience, and/or style that sets them apart.  These photographers and designers are artists who place worth on their time, efforts, and styles and this makes them stand out in the community of digital media.

Experienced vs Amateurs

Most people know the difference between a photo that has been taken by an amateur versus that of an experienced photographer.  One looks crisp, organized, and draws you to it, while the other leaves you missing something.  Not everyone knows the difference between an experienced Printable designer and an amateur.  An inexperienced Printable designer may use tons of color on their Printables and the Printable can end up looking glorious, but imagine printing these out a few times.  Printables with blocks of color use up tons of ink over time and end up costing the buyer way more money as they replace ink cartridges.  An amateur Printable designer may also oversimplify their design.  Title, list, and table.   While this may be useful, it is not enjoyable to use!  In contrast, experienced Printable designer uses just enough color to make the Printable fun, but respects the ink cartridges of their buyer.  In addition, they make their design compelling and enjoyable to use.  They have their own design and unique style elements that show their effort.  In addition, look for photographers who have schooling in photography and Printable designers who have experience in graphic design, interior design, or home organizing.

Successful vs Popular

This category is hard to calculate.  Within the world of photography and Printables, many artists sacrifice success to be popular.  Instead of revering their work as something meaningful, they may use it as a means to gain social media popularity.  Photographers give away their photos by using good quality images on their blogs that are easily copied and enjoy the feedback from fans rather than looking to other photographers in their profession to recognize the quality of their work.  Who cares if a random follower from Spain said that their photo is the most beautiful sunset he’s ever seen?  Are these photographers wanting success or are they simply wanting popularity?

The same is true with Printable designers.  Printables are popular!  Every SaHM and working mother and SaHD and working dad (okay, a little less with the dads), are enamored by the selection of Printables now available online.  Though in the world of blogs, most people think that popular = success, is it really true?  If people line up to access the latest Printable at the popular mother blog, are they staying to read her special words?  A blogger’s success is not based on how many hits she (or he) gets.  It’s based on readership, relationships, and loyalty.  Giving away free Printables to gain popularity gets more hits and more money, but does not necessarily create a successful blog.  Whether in photography or Printables, success can be a lot different than popularity.

Consistency vs One Shot Wonder

A landscape photographer can take one hundred shots and end up with two good prints or a seasoned landscape photographer can take twenty and half of them are print worthy.  One is a one shot wonder type and the other is a consistent photographer.  Printable designers can be similar.  Enter the shop of a Printable designer and you can see many useful tools, but which ones actually make your life better and are worth using?  You could buy a package of 80 and realize that only 20 are really beneficial.  Keep looking, find a Printable designer who has a smaller package with Printables that are well thought through, organized, and are all helpful.  Consistency is key in both photography and Printables.

Key Points
·         Look for originality in photos and Printables
·         Consider what you want and be willing to pay for it
·         Seek photographers and Printable designers who are experienced
·         Support photographers and designers who are seeking more than just popularity
·         Buy the set of photos that demonstrate consistency or the package of Printables that are all well developed

As a Designer

Let me be a little more personal in my ending.  This blog is meant to be informational for those considering the realm of photography and Printables.  As a designer, I don’t want to classify myself within this blog rather I prefer to let my buyers and clients make their decisions about my work.  I would love to call myself the super professional Printable designer, but I’m still learning and growing even with my background in Interior Design.  We all are.  I hope reading this has taught you a little more about photography and a little more about Printables.  Thank you for spending your time here with me at Designing Life’s Blog!

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