Discover more from Jefferson Graham's PhotowalksTV newsletter
The best last minute gift is: photos
If it comes from the heart, that's all that matters
Parents with kids hoping for toys, this doesn’t apply to you.
But for everyone else thinking about holiday gifting at this late date, why battle supply chain issues and fork out big bucks on meaningless products that will just gather dust?
I’ve long believed that the only gifts that really matter are those that come from within. Nothing beats a hand-made card, and/or a photo.
I love getting holiday cards when friends include a photo of their family, a trend that has morphed into the digital age with texts and social media posts. It’s great seeing smiling faces, and watching people grow up this way. What sweater could compete with an image that will last for generations?
A hand-made card with nice prose is also great, as long as it actually has words written by you and not Hallmark.
Or how about just a photo you took, or admire, of something that’s important to you? You could post that photo to social media and get some likes, or hustle to get a nice print made, put it in a frame, and hand it to someone you love. What tops a family photo?
Framed kid art can’t be beat either, especially for a grandparent.
The newsletter comes out on Saturday, and with Christmas a week away, getting prints delivered on time from a site like Shutterfly or MPIX is problematic, if not practically impossible at this late date. (Unless you’re willing to pay a giant premium for shipping.)
So shop local! Paul’s Photo in Torrance, California, for Los Angeles readers, will do walkup in-store prints, and everywhere else, your local CVS, Walgreens and FedEx Office has machines for in-store prints, both from cameras (memory cards) or directly from your phone. So no excuses. Walk in, get the print made, and then visit another retailer to pick up a nice frame, from Target and Walmart to Micheals and your local frame shop.
If you don’t want to do the print thing, I have some other great gift ideas:
—Pick up the phone, call someone and offer your expertise. I’m a tech guy, so I can always help people with setting up a password manager or using their Alexa Echo speakers for TV sound. Maybe you can help someone hang a framed print. Or install new bookshelves. Or just call someone you haven’t spoken to in eons and say hello. (Thanks for the ring Peter!) Again, trumps a sweater anytime. (The above photo of the Kruglov family was one of my many donated family photo series that I do every year, just because.)
—Invite someone to spend time with you. Be crazy like Jeff and wake up really early to share the best time of the day with someone you haven’t seen in a while, and take them to someplace you love, pointing out the beauty that inspired you.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Spending good money on stuff we don’t need is for the birds. Sharing something from the heart is everything, and you’ll help the supply chain get back on track while you’re at it.
Photos live forever. Sweaters just get eaten by moths.
(FYI: My wife Ruth has a no social media policy regarding her picture, otherwise you’d be seeing her here too!)
The Survey Says, forget it
I’m swearing off surveys for 2022: When companies ask me to fill out these “quick” Q&As, I usually say yes, offering 10s on everything, anything I can do to help the employee in question, even though the survey asks all the wrong questions.
Best Western hotels, where I stayed recently on my Route 66 adventure, wanted to know if people smiled at me when I entered and whether the bed was comfortable. That’s fine, but they didn’t also say, “How did you feel about the property being off the highway, far from the action? Were you upset you couldn’t park in front of the room and we put you on the third floor?” Etc.
A survey from Apple this week about an interaction at the Store is swearing me off from ever answering these again. Apple showed its hand, and how these are tools to rat on employees and get them dinged.
Check out the screenshot below. You can see some poor Apple employee getting yelled at for not trying to upsell me with subscriptions to Apple services and products. Yuck! I want no part of this employee torture.
Apple nude photo ban
Speaking of Apple, this week the company updated its iOS15 operating system software. I penned an article for Photofocus.com about the most controversial part of the update, a nude photo blur when naked pix are sent to minors, and the mind-boggling choices Apple is offering to them. Don’t view, talk to a grownup about it or view. And which door do you think they’ll open?
Remembering Ken Kragen
Ken Kragen, one of the great entertainment industry manager/producers died this week. He represented the Smother Brothers, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, the Bee Gees, Travis Tritt and Trisha Yearwood, among others, in his long career. I worked with Ken in the 1990s when I co-wrote his “Life is a Contact Sport” book, which outlined his marketing principles. The big one was the Magic of Threes, which suggested that for one big thing to happen, three smaller events have to occur in a concentrated period of time. This is a way to cut through the clutter and get your message out. Ken was the smartest promotional mind I’ve ever met, and he’ll be missed. Listen to this podcast with blogger Bob Lefsetz to learn more about Ken. https://www.iheart.com/podcast/1119-the-bob-lefsetz-podcast-30806836/
The Wild Manhattan Beach Skies
Something really rare happened in Manhattan Beach on Tuesday. It rained all day. (Very SoCal.) So when it ended, I dashed down to the Pier to pick up the post-rain sunset, which history shows is always pretty incredible. What do you think?
If you’re out and about Sunday, please join us on the Manhattan Beach Pier for the latest live photowalk. We’ll be in San Francisco on 1/22 for a photowalk of the Mission Murals. Please sign up!
Thanks for reading, watching and listening. I’ll be back at you Sunday with a quick edition about my latest video.