The biggest long-term enjoyment a trendy photograph can give you, is if years from now, when you stumble across it, you laugh so hard that it brings tears to your eyes. These kinds of photos pop up in slideshows that look back, always with great mirth.
They are often fun, spur of the moment things you do. But in terms of value for money spent or enjoyment for over the years, it does not deliver.
When I was in Spain some years back, we had the privilege of going through a home whose family had lived there for decades. Paintings and photographs of long gone family members graced so many of the walls. None seemed dated; they hung exuding a timeless energy. In most you would be hard pressed to set, at a glance, when it was made.
Once the trendiness element is removed, the personality, the story and, most importantly, the emotion of the image can be enjoyed.
I just had two experiences of my work doing this. The first was a client we had photographed 20 years ago. Now single with the original images gone, she wanted to have them back in her life. As we reviewed them, she remarked how expressive they were of her, even for today.
They brought back such warm memories of her youth. And even though most were nude, with some in a boudoir style, who she was then shone through. So much so, that she got a wall décor sized image.
The other was a friend I had photographed for a portrait with his wife during their wedding week, over 20 years ago. We did a large 40×50 image for them. As they have bought new homes, it is always with the consideration of where will that image be able to hang. It’s always prominent, with each new person to see it commenting on it.
Timeless over trendy often has very little cost difference, but huge value difference. I have noticed it seems to apply for most things, from furniture to clothes.
So what have you found? Do trendy images hold value? What would a timeless image be like for you?