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Wanted: a Decent Photographer for Internet Shopping

I'll bet you know someone who has wanted to reach across the counter at a store and choke the employee, when they answered your "Have you got a..." question with a sweet smile and a response of, "I could order it for you..."

You could order it for me? Well hell, man, I could order it myself off Amazon! What do I need you for? I came in here to look at the physical object itself, and then walk out with it today.

Sigh. Shopping just isn't my favorite activity, be it brick-and-mortar or online. I'm not complaining so much as wondering how business works.

Why shouldn't the photographers for online shopping be as professional as the graphic artist who drew this for the NY Times?

For instance, the world tells us that online shopping is taking over everything. There is so much noise about it, and so much praise for internet 'technology.'

Forgive me for not being impressed. The photographs are so bad when you shop online. I can't discern any of the nitty-gritty details. Maybe that is what they want. After all, an experienced consumer can see the booby traps built into a product -- with a clear view.

Many items are so black that it is impossible to photograph them. (Have you ever seen a friend's photograph of their "adorable" new black lab puppy. You can barely see the dog in the photograph.) 

Online photographs rarely show how the item mates with the customers part, and parts usually go together, into a larger system. Geometry matters. And you can't describe geometry with a paragraph of adjectives and platitudes.

For pity's sake, digital photographs are free! There are people in the world who like the photographic arts. So why isn't "professional photography for online sales" a real job these days?

Until it is, I will continue to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, where my eyes can get squinty and I can start sniffing out zippers and plastic snaps that will soon fail.