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May 17

When an Industry Declines

Posted by: Steve Marr

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Recently Walmart and Sears have closed their in store photography centers. In past generations, parents would dress up the family for the annual portrait. Today, few use a professional photographer.

When I was younger, I fancied myself a pretty good amateur photographer. I bought a Nikon 35 millimeter with several lenses. The camera cost around $5,000 in today’s dollars. I took a lot of shots using slide film and printed the best. In the past, taking pictures was costly and required skill to fully utilize the equipment.

Now cameras are cheap, easy to use, and digital. The expense of printing wasted shots is gone; you just delete them. Most of us can take enough pictures to get a few that turn out well. We don’t need to pay $50-$100 for a set of professional pictures.

However, good photography is a skill.  You need to get the lighting right, the people in the right place, and catch the best expressions. Not many people have this skill, and fewer people make a living doing photography. We need to be alert and understand these changes in our industry.

The Lord spoke to Jeremiah and said, “But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” (Jeremiah 18:4, NIV) When the industry we work in is out of shape, we need to be willing to be molded into a different profession or job.

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