Thing # 1: the snapshooter camera market is vanishing fast. Small pocketable fixed-lense cameras are disappearing like ... say ... film. Not that I needed any evidence to confirm that but, if evidence is what you want, there was evidence aplenty at the wedding I attended. The event was attended by 200-250 guests. To my knowledge - confirmed by observation - there were only 3 cameras (not counting the professional wedding crew) at the event. 2 were mine, the other belonged to my stepson. The rest of the crowd was merrily picturing away with their cell phones and I have no doubt that thousands of pictures were made at that event ...
... thousands of really crappy pictures, that is. One needed only to look on facebook during the following week to see a sea of bad pictures - noisy with camera shake in ample evidence - made at that event. That said, I am reasonably certain that those who made the pictures think they are just fine for their purposes.
Their purposes were to look at and share the pictures on lo-res media - social media, the phone screen, etc. - as a form of instant gratification. I am also reasonably certain that very few, if any, of the cell phone created pictures with ever be made into prints. Which brings me to Thing # 2 ...
Printed pictures: there is a camera store in New Jersey which has a large banner on display which reads: It's not a photograph until it's printed. That's a sentiment with which I completely agree with all of my picture making heart and soul.
Very few of the cell phone picture making generation ever make a print of their pictures. I must also write that I am often astonished by the fact that so many picture making enthusiasts rarely make prints as well .... what's the point of making images with enthusiast gear without making prints and hanging them on one's walls?
AN ASIDE: Currently, in my house, there are 34 of my prints hanging on various walls. In addition, there are 21 photo books, one 12 print portfolio box and a stack of 400 4x4 prints sitting about the place on coffee / end tables. Each book has, on average, 20 pictures. So, that brings the total number of printed pictures available for viewing in my house to approximately 870 pictures. End of ASIDE
In any event, I was heartened by the fact that an inlaw was passing around her kitchen table - where a number of family members were gathered for a morning after breakfast / get-together - a couple photo books and prints from a recent vacation. She was extolling the pleasure of having actual hold-them-in-your-hand pictures. So much so that she was downloading an app from a POD photo book site on everyone's phones. A site which offers 1 free photo book and a number of free prints a month to their app users.
It is my belief that a significant number of the cell phone picture making crowd has reached a pictures-stored-on-a-device saturation level. A saturation level which a number of online POD photo book and print sources have identified and are using the lost leader marketing idea to harness that emerging desire for photographic prints.
Hallelujah! Looks like a resurgence of photographic prints is in the works.
I believe the app my sister-in-law was so thrilled about can be seen here. Like Mikey was heard to say, "Try it, you'll like it."