Search

NYIP offers three distance education multi-media courses for photographers looking to improve their skills while working from home at their own pace.

Tag Cloud
Get Social With Us
test

 

Entries in Chuck DeLaney (3)

Friday
Nov232012

Director's Rant: Black Friday - Basta!

Editor's Note: Maybe it was two weeks without electricity and heat starting in October when Hurricane Sandy sloshed itself over lower Manhattan and put 10 feet of seawater in the basement of the building where NYIP Director Chuck DeLaney lives, or maybe there’s some key planet in retrograde. Regardless, he’s in a cynical mood and wants to share it with you. We don’t know how long this will continue.

Chuck DeLaney, NYIP Director - Black Friday/Valentine’s Day Special Sale 88 days only! We’ll never know if it would have been this bad without the Great Recession that started in 2008, but as email marketing and retargeting have been developed, we’ve entered a cycle where there seems to be a never-ending pandering to the consumer’s thirst for bargains, pegged to holidays and other quasi-holidays, including the disgusting Black Friday.

 

Are there really bargains? We’ll get to that in a moment.

 

We all know how this started. People began doing a lot of Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving. It became a big day. Then it became Black Friday. In late October this year I started getting emails from one marketer that dubbed the whole month “Black November!” Remember when Santa at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade signaled the start of the Xmas shopping season? Forget it. Christmas decorations are already in stores and office buildings all around Manhattan. Can the “Annual Groundhog Day Sale” be far behind?

 

Will Black Friday swamp Cyber Monday? We’ll have to wait a few days to find out, but the mindless efforts to play on the BF theme show a distinct lack of creativity. These are just a sample of the dopey subject lines from my inbox over the last two weeks:
  • 39 Black Friday Deals now available (sent to me two weeks ago)
  • Black-November Weekenders! (huh?)
  • Black Friday Preview
  • Black Friday Shoppers Want Your Gear!
However, the cake-taker, for me, blasted out of my television Tuesday night: BLACK FRIDAY EVERYDAY TAG SALE (really?)
 
Then, reading the paper on the subway Wednesday morning I came across this ad from
an uptown store.
1-Day Pre-Black Friday Sale: The New iPad 3 - $298.00
Great deal, but look at the fine print – only 3 available! It appears that people will line up for deals even if there’s really no chance to actually get them. By the way, this BF does mark the 4th Anniversary of the Black Friday gone awry when a WalMart employee was crushed to death when the doors opened at dawn at a WalMart in Valley Stream, Long Island in 2008.

 

In reality, these deals are nothing new. They’re what are known in the retailing business as loss leaders. Advertise some cheap stuff to get people in the door (try to keep the staff from being trampled) and then rack up the sales. Take a loss on those few items, and count on people to think everything is on sale and spend a lot of money on a buying frenzy in your store rather than the other guy’s shop. It works every time, and it will continue to do so until people, probably store employees, say “enough.” Should the employees and customers really leave their families in the dark of night post-Thanksgiving dinner to line up for bargains? Is there a limit? We’ll see what happens today.

 

After I settle down, I’ll offer some suggestions for the way photographers and other small businesses can promote their goods and services without pandering to the “bargain at all cost” herd mentality. After all, it demeans all of us. We’ll talk about loss leaders, time hammers, and price conditioners. But not until we’re past this madness. Remember the advice of Kenny the auctioneer: “The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your wallet.”

 

 

We're the New York Institute of Photographya distance education school teaching photography since 1910 - over 100 years of knowledge and experience. Listen to the following podcast to learn more about who we are and what we do.

AUDIO LINK: WHAT IS THE NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY? [20:58M]

Thursday
Nov222012

Happy Thanksgiving! (Don't miss the real opportunity.)

Four Freedoms: Freedom from Want (painting by Norman Rockwell)
Chuck DeLaney, NYIP Director - Perhaps it’s just me, but interspersed with the ever-more-rapidly spinning news cycles, I’m noticing that the feature content seems to be headed the opposite direction. As presidential races, Middle East rocket attacks, and national uprisings change minute-to-minute, advice for how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving and what vegetables to pair with that bird have been regular media fodder for several weeks. I even heard a long dispatch on NPR regarding the anticipated state of New England cranberry bogs 50 years in the future.
 Click on the photo to see what Julia would do for Thanksgiving.
Much of the pre-Thanksgiving commentary seems to center on the presumption that people approach preparing the Big Meal with apprehension. Yesterday, the burning question came up (again on NPR as I was administering breakfast to my dogs): “What would Julia do?”
 
It seems in this centennial year of Julia Child’s birth, an acolyte of the late Ms. Child, explained Julia’s somewhat unusual approach to cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. She dismembered the bird first to allow more cooking time for dark meat without overcooking the white meat. All very interesting, and then, when everything was cooked just right, he explained that Julia reassembled the turkey so “you can still have the Norman Rockwell moment.”
 
I’d never heard the phrase turned just so, but we all know what the fellow was referring to – the iconic Saturday Evening Post cover of the “typical” American family of yesteryear seated around the table as Ma (or Grandma) in humble dress and crisp white apron, lays the Big Bird on the table.
 
It’s a very hard photo to take. If you study Rockwell’s art, you can see he was able to exercise far more control over the people seated around the table than a photographer can. Having taken many wedding table shots, I can also attest that things on a dining table are rarely as neat and simplified as in Rockwell’s image.
 
On the NYIP website right now, we have an article that explains the true opportunity of Thanksgiving, How to Capture Thanksgiving with Your Camera, and the chance to make casual family portraits that can then be turned into the most meaningful of Christmas presents. I urge you to read it, and I wish all our readers a peaceful Thanksgiving and a brief respite from the troubling world around us.
 
What would Julia do to solve the impending fiscal cliff? Happy Thanksgiving from the faculty and staff of NYIP.
 

We're the New York Institute of Photographya distance education school teaching photography since 1910 - over 100 years of knowledge and experience. Listen to the following podcast to learn more about who we are and what we do.

AUDIO LINK: WHAT IS THE NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY? [20:58M]

Wednesday
Jul112012

Williams-Sonoma Features NYIP Director's Photography Tips

Photography is a versatile creative medium, and we were reminded of its applicability to many professions and genres recently when I was asked to interview Chuck DeLaney, Director of the New York Institute of Photography, to get his tips for interior designers and homeowners wanting to photograph home interiors. The outlet was the Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace blog, and you can read Chuck's tips for the design profession here: 13 Tips Designers Should Know About Photography.

 

We're the New York Institute of Photographya distance education school teaching photography since 1910 - over 100 years of knowledge and experience. Listen to the following podcast to learn more about who we are and what we do. WHAT IS THE NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY? [20:58M]