Email barrages us every day from people we know and love, trust and respect, sliding all the way down to spam we instantly delete, without even batting an eye.  Where on the scale different types of email lie in your own pile of sorting to do is up to you, but I just got one the other day from an otherwise respected photo resource -onOne Software, touting their latest “Perfect Photo Suite”, and boy did I get a bitter taste when I read through it.  Now don’t get me wrong – I think it’s a great company, and I love a lot of their product line, but this email just rubbed me the wrong way:

WrongOne

Seeing this sort of advertising goes against everything I believe in as a photographer – no matter what the post production software can do, nothing can take a bland picture and make it into art.  The fundamentals simply must be there.  If your composition is lousy, don’t expect any software to “make it right”.  There is no magic button in photography – it’s a matter of developing a style, an inner voice, and an essential foundation of composition that builds your skills and a portfolio.

The message this is promoting is that it’s not the person behind the camera, but rather the camera and the software that make the print.  Sorry onOne, but I gotta throw the red card here (soccer analogy for the rest of you) – this one was the wrong move.  Am I out on a limb here or does anyone else think this is the wrong message to pitch your product?

15 thoughts on “Ummmm, I Don’t Think So…

  1. Jason –
    I’m the one who worked with Sal Cincotta and the onOne Marketing team to come up with this email. I’m thankful that you are a fan on onOne and our line of products. I want you to know that I take your feedback to heart and will work to make sure we provide “value-ad” information more carefully. Further, I want to make sure we don’t over-promise what our software can do (no matter the experience of our audience). Your feedback and others comments will be presented in our next campaign meeting. I do appreciate your thoughtful feedback and want you to know that onOne is committed to doing the right thing for our community.

    Brian Kraft

    1. Thanks for the comment on the post Brian – I appreciate you taking the time to chime in here. I think the “issue” (such that one even existed in the first place) is one more of semantics rather than a critique of any software from onOne. For me it was merely an opportunity to help further the notion that photographers, amateur or pro, should always try to get it right “in camera” and then add flavor to the fundamentals from the software tools rather than using the software tools as a crutch.

      I’ve also emailed you under separate cover to this same extent… appreciate your time and thoughts here.

  2. I think the problem with emails / adverts like these are people who are not so well informed pay a lot of $ only to discover that the results they get are not the magic that it promises. As said, there is no magic button.

    1. That is ultimately what I was trying to get at Peter – thanks for getting me there quicker. It’s not just the message, it’s the idea that someone who may not be informed enough may buy into the hype and then be disappointed when the magic button does not appear to work as advertised.

      Advertising and marketing always seem to deviate from expected results – why is that? LOL 🙂

  3. I agree with the sentiment but hardly think it is worth special criticism, especially given that it is not OnOne saying that but it is a quote from Mr. Cincotta. Yes, that specific line, taken by itself, is rather misleading but in a world where the bulk of pictures are taken on a phone I don’t think it is out of line.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Fair point, and hopefully I was clear enough in my own post there that it’s not necessarily the onOne folks I am disappointed with – it’s the message of the marketing copy, and whoever this guy was in the email. It’s not a philosophy I agree with and it was rather depressing to see it printed in association with onOne is all that I was alluding to…

      It doesn’t mean I don’t like the Suite that I currently use in my own post production! 😉

  4. I completely understand the OP’s thoughts on turning a poor photo into something worthwhile. I too value the craftsmanship that goes into learning the photographic trade.
    But in the context of marketing software that can be used to take an image and somehow make it “special” (different than the original) for the owner of that image… I don’t find that offensive. How many of us use Instagram, or have other apps on our phone to tweak an image. In that context, I think OnOne is simply saying, “Hey, we have software that can do images like your cell phone can do, only better. With more control”!
    I’m ok with that.

    1. Hi Kerry,

      You make a very astute point that software can definitely be used to tweak an image and make it unique, but that’s not the idea that I got from the ad. It did not say anything like “Take normal images and make them unique”..the idea being promoted is to take bland pictures and make them works of art. While we can all likely agree that marketing is always to be taken with a grain of salt, the whole idea of turning blah to beauty is something that I find hurts the craft as a whole much more than it may ever help even a few folks starting up…

      And quite frankly, when I was starting up – I didn’t have the coin to afford something like the onOne Suite! 😉

  5. I thought the same thing when I saw it. Thanks for saying it “out loud”.

    1. As always, happy to speak up – and thanks for sharing your own thoughts here as well – I like the comments that are made “out loud”! 😉

  6. I am glad I was not the only one thinking the same thing Jason.

    The last thing we need in photography is more belief that silk purses can be made from sow’s ears

    Cheers

    Scot

    1. Ha! Funny analogy “silk purses from sow’s ears”…

      As for being the only one thinking it – odds are, any opinion is not unique, it’s just a matter of expressing it! 🙂

  7. If you are hawking wares to people who can barely operate a point-n-shoot, then yes this is the way.

    To serious hobbyists and pros – not so much.

    1. Is it ever really okay to promote the idea to folks new to the field that software can fix their fundamental problems that need to be overcome?

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