Leveraging the Old to Make Way for the New: The British Journal of Photography embraces the iPhone

December 18 2013

Hold on to your iPhones, photographers! The venerable British Journal of Photography has launched FLTR, a new weekly magazine dedicated to iPhone photography, published ONLY on the iPhone. This is a very progressive and forward-thinking move for a magazine with such strong historical roots, founded in Liverpool in 1854 (one hundred years before the Beatles appeared on the scene), and is typical of the smart leveraging of historical brands taking place these days in the UK.

So, about the magazine. The British Journal of Photography has a kind of fusty name, one that is a bit disconnected from how modern they really are. (That is a different brand topic for another day.) They have carved out an important role in the UK photo community, spanning the realms of commercial, fine art, critical analysis, news, events, job listings, and more. In creating FLTR, they are embracing what is going on NOW and what will be taking place in the future of the photo world, rather than pushing against the tide and ignoring or complaining about how bad things are for professional photographers. There are some compelling articles in the first issue, one by the uber-influential Kathy Ryan, and another about the impact smartphones would have had in recording dramatic events such as the attacks on 9/11.


These days, non-professionals fluidly take pictures with their phones all the time, freely documenting what they are eating, doing, where they are going, and who they spend their time with. It is estimated that more than 880 billion images will be taken over the next twelve months, with many of the images shot and shared by phone. That’s a whole lot of photos! Some of my photographer clients shoot campaigns on their iPhones, adding special lenses to bring more flexibility and refinement to the shooting process. Other clients of mine are asked to create the feel of iPhone photos – in other words, the naturalism and real life qualities of phone images, but with more technical backbone. Instagram has changed the way that we all relate to photography, and is used very actively as a major marketing tool for professionals, one where technology provides the bridge for a very personal connection between photographer and client or prospective client.

I would pay attention to this magazine, photo people. It’s another way of putting yourself out there beyond your own social media, and a great way of being part of the important conversation about what is going on in photography today.

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Gentrification on the Fulton Mall, Continued

December 11 2013

As change has come to the Fulton Mall in Brooklyn, I had been thinking that the retail environment on the Mall was going to be a mirror shopping experience to 86th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. It turns out that while there are many of the same retailers, the stores that are opening on the Mall are positioned as “Outlet Stores” rather than being presented as primary retail shops. For starters, there is the American Eagle Outlet and the Gap Factory Store. Sephora, who had been touted as a high-end retail chain that would anchor the Mall, bring in higher-end traffic, and act as a magnet for Brooklyn moms who want to try on their lipstick but have no time to go to Manhattan to shop, ended up opening in a historic building with double frontage on Court Street that is a few minute walk from the Mall. They are disassociated from the Mall experience.

It’s interesting to see that although there is a tremendous amount of real estate development adjoining the mall, the well-heeled people who will be buying and renting coops and renting glossy office space will still not be well-served by this new shopping experience. There is a disconnect. The stores are here, but not even the full middle-class version, so there is the sense of trying to straddle two worlds, and being committed to neither. The Mall is currently serving the same public as before – the city office workers and small business people that still throng the streets, either avoiding or engaging with the guys hawking cell phone covers and six gold teeth for $139.

It may that it is too soon to tell where the Mall is going, but it is clear that a commitment needs to be made to higher-level chains, good food, cafes, and a few little boutiques and shops like those that anchor 5th Avenue in Park Slope. It’s a brand moment at the Mall. I’m interested to see how it plays out.

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'Tis the Season for semiprecious Shopping...

December 07 2013

semiprecious is here for the holidays!

In celebration of our new Etsy store launch, we're offering a special code (HOLIDAY15) that you can use for a 15% discount at the Etsy store only! You can also purchase directly from our semipreciousny.com site. All of our products are designed here in NY and made by hand in Morocco. Order all these great pieces for your home (or loved ones!) this holiday season.

Some of you already know our line of flexible, bendable, vegetable-dyed silk napkin rings, available in a rainbow of colors. Buy a set for your own holiday entertaining, or give them as a special home or hostess gift. 

We are also selling our exclusive artisan-made pillows. Witty and deluxe, designed with oversized tassels and buttons and dressmaker details, the pillows are like art objects for your home or office. Each design is made in small runs of vegetable dyed silk, cotton, and wool.

Also, don't forget to follow and like us on our new semiprecious Facebook page!

Happy Shopping & stay in touch!

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Traveling Light to San Jose

December 05 2013

Beth just went on a whirlwind trip to the West Coast to speak at the fittingly high-tech and well-designed San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Beth’s seminar about How to Brand your Company, Organization or Product resonated with her wonderfully engaged audience, many of whom are involved in the tech world. Thank you, Emily LeDeau at the Chamber! We will get in our covered wagon and head out west any time you would like to host us!

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