All About Images Blog

Cadence_2

OK, 4-year old Cadence accidentally deleted a photo of Uncle Dave. I get it. I watched the video. She is really upset. I get that too, but what I don’t get is why her parents haven’t set up a system to backup their photos so they can’t be accidentally deleted. I mean, you have a four year old in the house. The possibilities are endless, and then you are surprised when something is accidentally deleted. At that point, blame yourself, not the poor, little girl.

 

Orange Tangerine 1

Orange Tangerine 2_edit2What do you think is in Orange Tangerine Juice?

Yes, that’s right. You guessed it. Apple juice is the primary ingredient in notables’ Orange Tangerine Juice.

It’s 100% juice, but not what you think it is.

Apparently, the image of an orange sells better than the image of an apple.

Yesterday was the last day for orders. Ahni, Zoe, and Creative Memories are now dead, although there is some hope that the Flowerdale Group will resurrect them later this year. Consultant Donna Lyn recently wrote about the Creative Memories Bankruptcy Roller Coaster. My roller coaster was like hers, only running about two years ahead of hers. I started with Creative Memories in 1998,. The late 1990’s and early 2000’s reflected the growth of Creative Memories to a 300 million dollar business. The incentive trips were spectacular. At the time, it appeared that Creative Memories could do no wrong.

Whiteonwhite_1999

1999 Incentive Trip to Acapulco

The peak was around 2002, when Creative Memories memories booked the Millennium twice for incentive trips to accommodate the number of qualifiers. 2002 was also the year I gave up film and started using a digital camera. Monica Lee has described this time as The best job I’ve ever had, and I agree with her.

The 2002 Fantastic Voyage incentive trip.

The 2002 Fantastic Voyage incentive trip.

The financial problems came with the opening of the new manufacturing and distribution facility in 2004. Around this time, Creative Memories remodeled the headquarters and replaced all the perfectly good office furniture with new, more trendy furniture. The company was spending a lot of money on projects that did nothing to drive sales. As sales started to decline, the new state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility proved to be a white elephant, and the company’s financial restructuring compounded the problems.

The Creative Memories 8th Avenue Manufacturing and Distribution Facility

The Creative Memories 8th Avenue Manufacturing and Distribution Facility

The decline continued. Creative Memories started direct sales business unrelated to its core scrapbooking market, including ZeBlooms for flowers and Our Own Image for African Americans. At the same time, Creative Memories continued to deny that digital would affect the future of their business, investing in custom framing and other projects that complicated their direct sales business model.

Creative Memories filed for bankruptcy in 2008 but did little to change its overall business practices. It continued to focus on  direct sales and refused to seriously consider alternative business models. Sales continued to decline at about 20% per year, and by 2011 it was abundantly clear that unless sales increased, another bankruptcy was inevitable. I left in 2012 when I received an offer from another company. By that time, I had given up hope, and it was time to get off the roller coaster. Six months later, Creative Memories filed for bankruptcy for a second time.

Two PNGs are combined into a single composite image.

Two PNGs are combined into a single composite image.

Again this year, I ordered school portraits from Lifetouch, including the “high-resolution” CD. Unlike previous years, however, Lifetouch is now giving parents an opportunity to provide feedback on their site and product offering. If you have children and are wondering what to say to Lifetouch, I have a couple of thoughts. Feel free to add additional suggestions in the comment section for this post.

1. Free the PNG. Lifetouch removes the background from each photo they take and then saves the photo as a PNG file. Unfortunately, they do not make this file available to customers, even on the disk that supposedly contains high resolution photos. The PNG file is important because it allows you to combine photos of multiple kids on a single page, making it look like they were actually together when the photos were taken. The PNG file also allows you to bring a photo into Artisan and select a custom background of your own choosing, giving your photos a unique appearance (see example above).

2. Multiple kids. Recognize that families may have more than one kid. Provide the opportunity to order products and packages that contain more than one child’s photo. For more on this issue, see Lifetouch Reinforces One Child Policy (satire).

3. Multiple years. Lifetouch takes photos each year. Keep all photos for each child in a single account and combine them into a collage, mug, mouse pad, or other photo gift.

I have tried writing to Lifetouch in the past without success. Maybe if Lifetouch gets feedback from lots of parents, they will finally update their antiquated business practices and address the needs of today’s customers.

camera

Surpassing M.I.T.’s previous record of 1 trillion selfies per second, researchers in Japan have announce a new camera which takes 4.4 trillion selfies per second. This camera uses an optical shutter to acquire images with a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels.

220px-Paris_Hilton_2009

Paris Hilton

This initial application of this camera is to satisfy the public’s insatiable desire for celebrity images. When told about this new camera, Paris Hilton immediately ordered two. “It’s all about numbers,” Paris said. “Now I can have even more photos of myself.” Other celebrities are expected to follow her lead, with sales eventually trickling down to the large population of self-absorbed American teenagers.

AhniandZoelogo

Ahni and Zoe are now history, at least in the U.S. and Canada. Their direct sales business  is joining the graveyard of failed businesses. Some of the products may reappear, since the production equipment, patents, and brand names have been purchased, but the business model will be different. Ahni and Zoe have cancelled all consultant contracts and eliminated U.S. staff responsible for direct sales.

If you’re interested in the going out of business sale, come to Saint Cloud on September 23. Check out Grafe Auction Company for more details.

As previously indicated, Creative Memories Japan, which did  not file for bankruptcy, remains operational.

800px-Lag_BaOmer_bonfire

In an effort to delay the death of traditional film, Hollywood has agreed to buy enough film to ensure that the last remaining supplier, Kodak, will remain in the business. The agreement makes no mention of what the studios will actually do with this film, given that the film industry has almost entirely switched to digital. As part of this agreement, Kodak will be making approximately 450 million feet of film per year. Here are my top 10 suggestions on what to do with that film:

  1. Shoot 450 million feet of Paris Hilton.
  2. Circle the earth three times.
  3. Travel 1/3 the distance to the moon.
  4. Take a photo of everyone on earth.
  5. Cover the Capitol in film.
  6. Use it for executive bonuses.
  7. Deliver it to Donald Trump.
  8. Donate it to Goodwill.
  9. Celebrate with a big bonfire.
  10. Recover the silver – at least it has some value.

For more details on this agreement, see Hollywood to commit to Kodak Film, Hollywood joins forces with Kodak, and Kodak to keep making movie film.

Disclaimer

All opinions expressed in this blog are mine, not HID Global's.

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